Roger Federer put together a masterclass performance to defeat Mardy fish 6-3, 7-6(4) to advance to the semifinals of the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati. The Fed is looking to become the first player to win the tournament five times.
Without going into too much detail about the match, Roger played incredibly well from start to finish. In the first set he was very sharp while Fish struggled to put a first serve in play (only 43%). Fed broke once at the start of the match and then once in the final game of the set to take complete control.
In the second, Fish started serving and playing much better, and he even got to 0-30 on a couple of Roger's service games. But as we have seen so often, Roger was clutch on the important points and never let the American see a break point. Fittingly, the set went to a tiebreak, where Roger got the mini-break at 3-2 and did not look back from there, taking it seven points to four.
It was a really great win for Roger because Fish was playing about as well as he could play in the second set. Fed has looked very sharp this week in his three wins and I only hope that he will gain confidence from his play and use it towards winning this title and the US Open.
Novak Djokovic easily defeated Marin Cilic 6-3, 6-2. The Croat has only ever taken one set off Novak in seven meetings. Juan Martin del Potro advanced to his first semifinal at Cincinnati with a 6-1, 6-3 win over Jeremy Chardy. Delpo played much better than he did in his previous round where he needed three sets to beat Viktor Troicki.
In what may be the surprise of the week (other than Jeremy Chardy), Stan Wawrinka made his first Masters semifinal in over three years when he took out Milos Raonic. 26, 7-6(5), 6-4. Stan was down 2-4 in the tiebreak but came back to win it and then took the third after breaking midway through and holding from there.
It's good to see Stan playing well this week. He'll be in tough against Roger, but Stan is a guy with loads of talent and if he can start to put together weeks like this more frequently, he could make a serious move up the rankings.
So the semis are set: Federer vs Wawrinka and Djokovic vs del Potro. Djokovic will be looking to get revenge on Delpo for the loss at the Olympics, and Stan will need to play his very best if he even wants a chance at beating Roger, with the way the Fed is playing right now. I know Roger is certainly relieved that Stan took out Milos as the Canadian has given him a tough match in all three of their encounters this year.
Both matches should be very enjoyable to watch as all four men have played well this week.
PS: I got my name mentioned on TV during the Federer/Fish match! Robbie Koenig (@RobKoenigTennis on Twitter) sent out his usual question and I answered it, and they mentioned me as one of those who replied. It was really cool when I heard it!