Roger Federer defeats Roberto Bautista Agut to punch ticket to Montreal semis

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Federer hammered five aces, made just two double faults and won 81 percent of his first serve points in the 68-minute centre court match. He dominated at the net, winning 21 or 25 points.

Quebec: Swiss star Roger Federer outclassed Roberto Bautista Agut as he inched closer to his sixth title of the season in a 6-4, 6-4 win in the quarter-finals of the Montreal Masters on Friday.

Federer hammered five aces, made just two double faults and won 81 percent of his first serve points in the 68-minute centre court match. He dominated at the net, winning 21 or 25 points.

“It pays off playing aggressively here in Montreal, plus I feel comfortable at net, so why not spend some time there instead of slugging it out from the baseline,” Federer said. “I think I did a good job again, even though it was tough to control the ball. I got some decent rhythm going.”

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 earlier in the day.

Bautista Agut struggled mightily on his serve as he was broken three times and won just 65 percent of his first serve points.

“Today, I felt that I didn`t get into the rhythm of the match and I didn`t feel the ball well,” he said. “Roger plays very fast and he didn`t want to rally with me, so he went for his shots.”

Federer posted his seventh consecutive win over the Spaniard and boosted his season record to 34-2. He has a Tour high five titles in 2017.

He will face Dutchman Haas in just the second career 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 of the season were given a boost when top seed Rafael Nadal was upset by world No. 143 Denis Shapovalov of Canada on Thursday night.

Shapovalov, who needed a wild card to gain entry into the tournament, takes on Frenchman Adrian Mannarino later in the day.

The other quarter-final features Germany`s Alexander Zverev against Kevin Anderson of South Africa.

Haase rallied after losing the opening set to improve to 5-0 all-time against Schwartzman.

Haase has had to overcome several injuries in his career but says he is finally in a good place.

“I wasn`t the player I was before my injury,” Haase said. “I was not as fast. I was insecure. I had a lot of problems with other injuries after. Then this kind of eats you up inside mentally. It drains you because you know you can do better.

“I`ve been working on it a lot in the past few years. I started to believe more and more again. My game is better

 

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