Roger Federer will face Dutchman Robin Haase in the semi-finals of the Montreal Masters after the pair beat Roberto Bautista Agut and Diego Schwartzman, respectively.
Friday night saw three of the Montreal Masters semi-finals. Here’s what went on….
Roger Federer v Roberto Bautista Agut
Roger Federer booked his place in the semi-finals of the Montreal Masters with a dominant and routine 6-4 6-4 victory over Spain’s Bautista Agut on Friday.
Federer had beaten another Spaniard, David Ferrer, 4-6 6-4 6-2 to book his place in the quarter-finals, while Bautista Agut had got past Frenchman Gael Monfils 4-6 7-6 7-6.
A tight start to the match went to serve for the first eight games leaving it 4-4, but Federer picked up the first break in the ninth game, repeatedly attacking Bautista Agut’s second serves to the point at which the Spaniard double faulted to hand the Swiss the break.
Federer took the opening with both hands as he ruthlessly served out the set in the next game with ease, clinching it 6-4.
The 36-year-old began the second set in confident form, with Bautista Agut struggling to handle Federer’s returns and giving away far too many unforced errors.
Federer duly went a break up in the very first game, clinching it by lashing a trademark backhand across the court which Bautista Agut couldn’t deal with.
Bautista Agut showed great character to break straight back as Federer made just one first serve in the second game, but that was as good as it got for the Spaniard for the rest of the set.
Federer proceeded to force the third break of serve in a row, stepping up and into Bautista Agut’s shots and finishing them with lethal power to move 2-1 ahead.
The next game saw Federer serve out four straight points, with Bautista Agut on the backfoot on each occasion, but the 29-year-old recovered to hold in the next game to leave the scores 3-2.
After two key unforced errors, Federer survived two break points to recover to deuce, and then served out two more points to go 4-2 ahead.
Bautista Agut twice held serve but crucially could not fire a shot on Federer’s service game, who calmly dispatched the Spaniard on each occasion to seal the victory.
Robin Haase v Diego Schwartzman
Earlier in the night, Haase booked his passage through to the first Masters 1000 event semi-final in his career after defeating Argentine Diego Schwartzman 4-6 6-3 6-2.
The 30-year-old Dutchman had seen off seventh seed Grigor Dimitrov 7-6 4-6 6-1 in the last round, while Schwartzman had also won in three sets against 20-year-old American Jared Donaldson 0-6 7-5 7-5.
The tension was palpable as both players sought to make a bit of history in their careers, and it looked as if Schwartzman would make a slow start again as he did against Donaldson.
The 24-year-old saved a couple of break points to eventually serve out the opening game, however, before the pair traded breaks over the next couple of games.
With little to choose between the payers, it was to be Hasse who would blink first in the opening set, and in the most crucial of games at 5-4 down.
Having adopted a distinctly defensive approach, the Dutchman appeared to panic when Schwartzman applied pressure to get on top of him in the 10th game.
Haase saved one set point with an ace, but had no reply to Schwartzman’s lethal and aggressive service return thereafter, clinching the first set 6-4.
In the second set, Schwartzman was the first to drop a game, and it was one he never should have.
At 1-1 and cruising 40-15 in the third game, the diminutive Argentine made four inexplicable unforced errors which gifted Haase the break of serve.
After Haase held his next serve, it was a similar story in the fifth game as Schwartzman allowed the Dutchman to take command of the second set at 4-1 through his mistakes.
The spirited Argentine broke back immediately though, with Haase complaining about a disturbance in the stands, and then came the game which would decide the second set.
It last over 13 minutes long as both players passed up numerous points to win the game, which kept reverting to deuce. Haase passed up five break points, while Schwartzman missed six points to win the game before finally clinching it.
At 4-3, Schwartzman passed up a break point, allowing Haase to go 5-3 ahead, and the Dutchman closed the set out in the very next game to win it 6-3, and take the clash to a decider.
Haase began the third set powerfully, racing into a 2-0 lead, after a terrific top spin lob shot clinched the break of serve in the second game.
The pair held serve in the next two games, before Schwartzmann broke Haase to get the match back to 3-2.
Haase won the next two games to go 5-2 ahead however, and the next time he was serving he confirmed the set 6-2 and clinched the victory.