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Roger Federer will face Denis Shapovalov for the first time in the Miami Open presented by Itau semi-finals.

Federer Praises #NextGenATP Shapovalov, Auger-Aliassime

Fourth seed will meet Shapovalov in the Miami SF

#NextGenATP Canadians makeup half of the semi-final field at the Miami Open presented by Itau, and Roger Federer wouldn't have it any other way.

After beating Kevin Anderson 6-0, 6-4 on Thursday, the 27-time ATP Masters 1000 champion commented on the bright futures that await both Felix Auger-Aliassime, 18, and Denis Shapovalov, 19, who is also Federer's semi-final opponent.

The 37-year-old Swiss also shared his thoughts on entire wave of #NextGenATP players, which also includes Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas and Miami quarter-finalist Frances Tiafoe of the U.S.

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“They'll carry the sport when we're long gone, and we'll be sitting on the couch watching those guys slug it out. They'll be a joy to watch because not only are they great, great players, but they're good people, too,” Federer said during his on-court interview with ESPN.

“I love to see that about them. This year and especially last year as well, they really started to break through and won some big events and started to beat the top guys, too.”

Tsitsipas upset Federer during the Australian Open quarter-finals, and Tiafoe beat Anderson en route to the last eight in Melbourne. In Miami, Auger-Aliassime has won seven matches, including qualifying, to become the youngest semi-finalist in the tournament's 35-year history.

Teenagers To Reach QF Or Better In Miami Open History (since 1985)

Year

Player

Age

Round

(Opponent)

2019

Felix Auger-Aliassime

18

SF

(vs. Isner)

2019

Denis Shapovalov

19

SF

(vs. Federer)

2017

Alexander Zverev

19

QF

(l. to Kyrgios)

2007

Andy Murray

19

SF

(l. to Djokovic)

2007

Novak Djokovic

19

Champion

(d. Canas)

2005

Rafael Nadal

18

Finalist

(l. to Federer)

2001

Andy Roddick

18

QF

(l. to Hewitt)

2001

Roger Federer

19

QF

(l. to Rafter)

2000

Lleyton Hewitt

19

SF

(l. to Sampras)

1990

Pete Sampras

18

QF

(W/O to Berger)

1990

Jim Courier

19

QF

(l. to Agassi)

1990

Andre Agassi

19

Champion

(d. Edberg)

1985

Stefan Edberg

18

QF

(l. to S. Davis)

Shapovalov came back from a set down on Thursday for the third time this fortnight and beat Tiafoe to make his third Masters 1000 semi-final (2017 Montreal, 2018 Madrid).

“I think it's going to be a really, really interesting year, and here in Miami, we see two of the most talented guys out there on the Tour right now,” Federer said of Auger-Aliassime and Shapovalov.

Auger-Aliassime, who faces defending champion John Isner in the semi-finals on Friday, trained with Federer in Dubai during the 2017 offseason. The two also share a birthday, 8 August.

“He was a joy to work with. He was ranked like 200, and I knew he was on the rise but maybe not this quickly,” Federer told ESPN.

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Since January 2018, Auger-Aliassime has risen 104 spots in the ATP Rankings, from No. 161 to No. 57. By making the semi-finals, he's projected to climb to No. 33 and will crack the Top 20 if he wins the Masters 1000 title.

“He's got an amazing, bright future ahead of himself, and Denis as well,” Federer said. “He's one of the big shotmakers in the game. I just love his forehand. He's got a great attitude and just keeps going for it. So I'm looking forward to the match. I've never played Denis before so I hope we can come out and play a great match, that'd be wonderful.”

Shapovalov said the meeting will be a “dream come true.”

It's definitely a matchup I have been looking forward to, I think, my whole life,” Shapovalov said, smiling. “It's going to be a dream come true to play him in such a big event over here, and the stakes are so high, semi-final match of a Masters 1000 against your idol.”