A 45th Masters 1000 final for Roger Federer awaits as he defeated maiden semi finalist Robin Haase 6-3, 7-6(5) to book his spot in Sunday's showpiece in Montreal.
The Swiss was in solid form throughout, dropping only nine points on serve and soaking up the heat from Haase in the second set to win the tie break and keep his 16 match win streak alive.
Quick Match Recap
Federer won the toss and elected to serve. He then held to love in sub 1 minute to set out his stall. Haase then slipped to 0-40 and although he saved all three plus a further break point, he missed a volley on the fifth to slip to 2-0.
Surprisingly the Dutchman broke back for 1-2 but Federer immediately restored advantage before holding to love. The one break proving enough as Roger took the set 6-3, dropping just 2 points behind his first serve in the set thanks to some great variety.
This was Haase's first ever Masters 1000 semi final so it was tricky to know he'd respond in set 2 but came out firing on serve. Both players were able to hold comfortably with only two deuce games in the set which inevitably went into the tie break.
Into the breaker and Roger got the peRFect start, moving up two mini breaks for 4-1 but Haase again showed his ability to hit big, winning four points in a row from 4-1 down.
However, it was not enough for the Dutchman as Roger regrouped to lead 6-5 and Haase's resistance ended when a forehand drifted wide as Roger took it 7-5 in the breaker.
|Robin Haase||Roger Federer|
|First Serve Percent||61% (45/74)||56% (30/54)|
|1st Serve Points Won||78% (35/45)||87% (26/30)|
|2nd Serve Points Won||38% (11/29)||79% (19/24)|
|Break Points Saved||67% (4/6)||50% (1/2)|
|Service Games Played||10||11|
|1st Serve Return Points Won||13% (4/30)||22% (10/45)|
|2nd Serve Return Points Won||21% (5/24)||62% (18/29)|
|Break Points Converted||50% (1/2)||33% (2/6)|
|Return Games Played||11||10|
|Net Points Won||50% (6/12)||89% (17/19)|
|Total Service Points Won||62% (46/74)||83% (45/54)|
|Total Return Points Won||17% (9/54)||38% (28/74)|
|Total Points Won||43% (55/128)||57% (73/128)|
Thoughts on the Match
Another decent match from Roger as he played front foot tennis, looked to get forward and keep it on his terms. The Swiss won 17 of 19 at the net and fired 28 winners and he's looking slightly better round by round. Not a whole lot of talking points as there were no long rallies as both guys made it their goal to end points quickly. As a result, it wasn't physical in the slightest so he'll surely head into tomorrow's final feeling fresh.
Other than that I thought he served well in terms of variety, especially the first serve which was mixed up really well with the body serve coming in handy a few times to cramp Haase. He also defended well when required in the second set when Haase started to bomb down the serves and go for his groundstrokes so all in all a good performance and hopefully, he can take it up another level tomorrow
Predictions vs. Zverev
So next up is Sascha Zverev who defeated Shapopolov in two sets in the semi finals.
There's a bit of a mini rivalry building between Federer and Zverev now with both guys scoring a win against one another this year albeit Zverev's coming at the Holman Cup.
Heading in it looks to be a fifty fifty match. Zverev has won a lot of hard court matches and bagged the title in Washington so he's full of confidence. Fed is obviously still riding high and is in yet another final without really playing his best. So I'm not sure which way it goes.
I think for Fed he will look to keep coming forward and not let Zverev boss it from baseline. So it really does boil down to who takes the initiative. Also interested to see how much energy Fed is willing to expend if it does turn into a tough three setter as he's surely got one eye on Cincy and the US Open.