Whoop! We're back to standard procedure is Shanghai as Roger defeated Cilic 6-3 6-4 in 82 minutes to setup a semi final clash with Andy Murray who saw off Radek Stepanek in 3 sets.
After what can only be described as a weird match against Wawrinka yesterday I thought Roger looked like he meant business today and like he'd stepped on court to get the job done quickly and efficiently.
Fed started the match in full flow, breaking in the very first game and was 2-0 to the good in no time at all. It was disappointing to see him lose serve at 2-1 after a few errors but the key thing was he hit straight back to break to love then held comfortably to take a 4-2 lead. Check the highlights below at 3-2 0-15, sick point construction.
Cilic dropped serve again at 5-3 and Roger wrapped up the first set with a blistering cross court backhand pass. Suppose you have to say it was pretty easy as he didn't have to do anything out of the ordinary. He hit the forehand really well however and Cilic just couldn't seem to handle the variety of Federer's game.
The second set was very similar, Roger saved a break point in his opening service game and then just kept Cilic at bay. He broke to lead 3-1 after Cilic got unlucky with a couple of net cords and I thought that was going to be it for the day until Cilic broke back at 5-3. I guess that's the only blemish on Roger's game today in that he failed to serve it out, he was kinda unlucky as a Cilic return dropped in and then he mis timed a forehand to drop serve. The main thing is though that like in the first set he bounced straight back to break and take the match.
Verdict on the Match
I think this was Roger's best match of the week so far to date, he definitely served a lot better today and constructed some really intelligent points. A couple of errors that cost him in places but fortunately his game was at a level where he was able to bounce back without any real negative impacts.
As for Cilic I think he's a pretty one dimensional player, he's good when every ball is played at a similar pace but as soon as there's a low bounce or a slow slice he can't cope and ends up making errors. It's hard to say whether or not he's improved in the last few years and I doubt he'll break into the top 10 any time soon. The last thing you can afford to do when Roger has handed you the break back is to drop serve again immediately after and to do it twice is criminal.
Predictions vs. Muray
Usually an interesting match between these two and I'm sure Federer want's to put stamp his authority on Murray especially after he lost the 2010 Shanghai final to him.
Murray hasn't looked that impressive this week dropping a set to Stepanek so I think Roger has a very good chance of winning this one. The courts are playing pretty fast and aren't bouncing too high which also works in his favour so I'll go for Fed 6-4 7-5.