Federer In Full Flight
Roger Federer continued to fire on all cylinders in his quest for an unprecedented seventh Western & Southern Open crown, notching match win No. 40 in Cincinnati.
The Swiss has ridden an ultra aggressive game plan in cruising into Saturday's semi-finals, downing Feliciano Lopez 6-3, 6-4. He dominated proceedings in the first set, firing 12 winners and claiming 83 per cent of total service points, snagging the lone break in the sixth game after Lopez fell in a 0/40 hole. The second seed dropped only four points on serve in the opener.
Federer had not faced a break point all tournament, but trailing 2-3 in the second set his serve would come under siege at 0/40. True to form, he would reel off five straight points to hold and immediately broke to 15 in the next game for a 4-2 advantage. He would close out the match after just 62 minutes, striking a total 26 winners, including eight aces.
A 23-time ATP World Tour Masters 1000 champion, Federer now owns a 12-0 FedEx ATP Head2Head against the Spaniard, having conceded just one break of serve in their previous seven meetings. He has claimed each of the past 10 sets played as well.
The pair enjoyed a lighthearted moment at the post-match handshake, with Lopez exclaiming, "You were flying all over the court." Federer responded: "I have a few more years left in me."
"I did feel good, especially in the first set," said Federer. "In the second set a little less maybe. It was also an important game to hold being down Love-40. That's exactly the kind of match it can become. As an experienced tennis player, I'm aware that matches can turn around extremely quickly.
"It's good I got out of that game and was able to break right away and then bring it home. Things tend to get away from you super fast against big servers, especially on a surface that's faster like here. I'm very happy with the match."
The Basel native is making his 15th appearance in Cincinnati, one of six tournaments he has won six times or more. The second seed, who owns a 40-8 record in the American city, reached the semi-finals for the fifth time since 2009.
Lopez, who had spent five and a half hours more on court than Federer entering Friday's encounter, was coming off a titanic third-set tie-break win over countryman Rafael Nadal in the third round.
Federer will face third seed Andy Murray in Saturday's semi-finals after the Scot rallied from a set down to turn aside Richard Gasquet. He owns a 13-11 edge in their FedEx ATP Head2Head, most recently notching a 7-5, 7-5, 6-4 win in the Wimbledon semis.