Federer Records Milestone Win, Plays Thiem In SFs
Del Potro in quarter-final action later today
Roger Federer moved to second place in the Open Era match wins list on Friday when he booked a spot in the Mercedes Cup semi-finals. The Swiss passed Ivan Lendl for 1,072 match wins with a 7-6(2), 7-6(1) victory over qualifier Florian Mayer in Stuttgart. Only Jimmy Connors (1,256) has won more career matches.
"I think it was a good match really, with long rallies," said Federer. "I thought that I played much better. I'm not sure if the stats showed it, but I felt [that] I served better. I'm really pleased how I felt this morning, my shoulder is a little sore having served a lot against [Taylor] Fritz. But that's exactly the kind of thing I need to feel having gotten back onto the match courts."
Federer improved to 7-0 lifetime against Mayer, who saved one set point at 5-6, 30/40 in the first set. Federer also recovered from 15/40 and saved three set points at 5-6 in the second set.
Top seed Federer will play the newest member in the Top 10 of the Emirates ATP Rankings, No. 7-ranked Dominic Thiem, in Saturday's semi-finals. "I'm now really excited about the semi-final against Thiem, who has had a great run this year," said Federer. "It will be a tough match, but I hope my experience will help me."
Third seed Thiem improved to 43-11 on the year, which includes three ATP World Tour titles, after he defeated 2002 champion Mikhail Youzhny 3-6, 6-4, 7-5 in one hour and 51 minutes.
"It was my best match on grass so far, against a very good and experienced player on this surface," said Thiem. "It was a very close match and it would have gone in any direction. [Looking ahead] it's tough to play Roger on any surface, but especially on grass."
Later in the day, seventh seed Philipp Kohlschreiber got the better of qualifier Radek Stepanek for the first time in more than nine years. Kohlschreiber, the 2013 runner-up when the event was played on clay courts, won 6-4, 7-5 in one hour and 42 minutes.
"I'm very happy especially on grass, particularly when I knew he had beaten me a few times in the past," said Kohlschreiber. "It was a big challenge today and I am happy to have solved all the problems he gave me. I was very strong in the crucial moments."
He will next meet 2008 champion Juan Martin del Potro, who rallied to post a 6-7(3), 6-3, 6-0 win over fourth seed Gilles Simon. The Argentine did not drop serve during the match, which lasted two hours and four minutes. In the deciding set, he only lost three points on serve and won 68 per cent of points against the Frenchman (28/41). Del Potro’s most recent ATP World Tour title came in Sydney two years ago. He is one win away from reaching his first career grass-court final.
Top Seeds Upset In Doubles
Oliver Marach and Fabrice Martin edged Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan 7-6(1), 7-6(6) for a place in the doubles final. Marach/Martin hit 18 aces and saved all four break points faced in the 85-minute victory. No breaks of serve were recorded during the encounter as both teams won over 80 per cent of first serve points.
It was the third meeting of the year between the two teams. Marach/Martin were victorious in the Delray Beach final while the Bryan Brothers came out on top in the second round at Roland Garros.