Federer Strikes Past Medvedev Into Miami Quarter-finals
Swiss star plays Anderson on Thursday
Roger Federer booked a place in the Miami Open presented by Itau quarter-finals for the 11th time in his career on Wednesday afternoon. The fourth seed and three-time former champion knocked out the 2019 ATP Tour match wins leader, No. 13 seed Daniil Medvedev of Russia, 6-4, 6-2 in their rain-delayed clash postponed from Tuesday night.
Federer will next look to beat sixth-seeded South African Kevin Anderson on Thursday at the Hard Rock Stadium, the new venue of the ATP Masters 1000 tournament in Miami. Federer leads Anderson, who is coming back from an elbow injury, 5-1 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series that includes four hard-court victories.
“I think it's going to be a bit tricky. He's got a great serve, so you go back to big-serve mentality to try to hold your own service games first before thinking about how to break Kevin,” Federer said. “But I think I'm feeling really good. Today's match I can be really happy with. I hope it's going to give me some confidence for tomorrow.”
In a first set serving duel, Federer remained patient and waited for the opportunity to strike at 4-4 by chipping away at Medvedev’s backhand. In winning a 34-stroke rally at 30/40, the Swiss pounced on a short ball from Medvedev, who overcooked a forehand long on the next point.
Federer recovered from 0/40 in the next game, mixing up his service placement and pace, and Medvedev’s head dropped when another unforced error – again, on his forehand – gifted his opponent the first game of the second set. Federer’s run of five straight games ended when Medvedev held for 1-2.
“I think when you want to go deep in tournaments, sometimes you need those 15 minutes that go your way and you're able to pull away with the score,” Federer said.
“It's not always simple. Margins are super slim. You need a bit of help sometimes from your opponent. But you can definitely fight your way in that position. And I did. I got the break to go up 5-4, and then, sure, he had 0/40, but he's still under pressure. He has to break. He knows that. Maybe with that pressure, to some extent, you somehow find a way. And I did.
“Maybe a bit of frustration kicks in, and next thing you know, instead of it being 4-all you're up 6-4, 2-0 and it's tough... These best-of-three-set matches can be very tricky. Today I showed why that is. I'm very happy how I played today, especially in that spell.”
At 2-4, Medvedev found himself in trouble, letting slip a 40/15 lead to be broken for a third time, courtesy of a double fault and Federer calmly recovered from 0/30 in the next game to wrap up his 15th victory of the season. Overall, 37-year-old Federer hit 22 winners and committed eight unforced errors, in the 62-minute encounter, to extend his perfect record against Medvedev to 3-0.
Federer lifted his 100th tour-level trophy three weeks ago at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships (d. Tsitsipas) and came into Miami on the back of a final run at the BNP Paribas Open (l. to Thiem). Medvedev, 23, who now has a 17-6 match record on the season, captured his fourth ATP Tour title at the Sofia Open in February (d. Fucsovics). He also finished as runner-up at the Brisbane International (l. to Nishikori) in the first week of the 2019 ATP Tour season.