Swiss Roger Federer overcame Roberto Bautista Agut as he moved up to his sixth title of the season with a 6-4 6-4 victory in the quarterfinals of the Montreal Masters. Federer hit five aces, made only two double faults and won 81 percent of his first service points in the 68-minute center game. He dominated the net, winning 21 of 25 points.
“It’s worth playing aggressively here in Montreal, plus I feel comfortable on the net, so why not spend some time there instead of slugging off the baseline,” Federer said. “I think I’ve done a good job again, although it was difficult to control the ball. I have a decent pace.”
Federer advances to the semi-finals where he will face Robin Haase of the Netherlands, who defeated Diego Schwartzman 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 at the start of the day.
Bautista Agut fought in his serve as he was broken three times and won only 65 percent of his first service points.
Federer scored his seventh consecutive win over the Spaniard and improved his season record to 34-2. He has an ATP Tour top five titles in 2017. He will face Dutchman Haas in just the second race meeting between the two. The pair met in a Davis Cup World Group play-off in 2012 with Federer winning 6-1, 6-4, 6-4.
Federer’s chances of winning another title this season were given a boost when first seed Rafael Nadal was disgusted by World No. 143 Denis Shapovalov of Canada on Thursday night. Shapovalov, who needed a wild card to win entry to the tournament, continued his cinderella run on Friday for the rally to beat Frenchman Adrian Mannarino 2-6, 6-3, 6-4.
Mannarino became the fourth ATP player this week to fall into the hands of the 18-year-old Canadian left-hander. Shapovalov’s victory over Mannarino came just 24 hours after he defeated former French champions Nadal 10 times to enter the quarters. Shapovalov also upset former United States Open winner Juan Martin Del Potro in the second round.
Fourth seed Alexander Zverev defeated South African Kevin Anderson in sets 7-5, 6-4 to set up a clash of rising stars with Shapovalov.
Zverev, 20, is the youngest player ranked in the top 20 in the world and Shapovalov is the youngest since 1990 to reach the quarterfinals of the Masters 1000.