Preview: Federer v Anderson: "If You Beat Me At Wimbledon, You've Got My Attention"
Quarter-final action continues on Thursday at the Miami Open presented by Itau. An all-#NextGenATP battle pitting Denis Shapovalov of Canada and Frances Tiafoe of the United States headlines the day session, while Roger Federer of Switzerland and South African Kevin Anderson take to Stadium Court at night.
Fourth seed Federer leads his FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry with sixth seed Anderson 5-1, with all of those wins coming in straight-sets. However, Anderson won their most memorable match last year in the Wimbledon quarter-finals.
“If you beat me at Wimbledon, you've got my attention,” said Federer. “From that standpoint, I know what I'm about to expect tomorrow. The matches I have played against him can be extremely close just because of his sheer possibilities that he has on the serve…it will be interesting to see how it’s going to go.”
After surviving an opening-round scare against Radu Albot of Moldova, Federer has improved his form with each match. He’s now the on-paper favourite for a fourth Miami Open title, which would mark his 28th Masters 1000 title.
Anderson has picked up where he left off in his first tournament since the Australian Open. An elbow injury sidelined him for two months, but the South African is fully healthy again and hitting his shots with authority. Anderson won’t be afraid of the occasion and will be sure to take advantage of any dips in Federer’s form.
Shapovalov, the No. 20 seed, seeks his third ATP Masters 1000 semi-final, having previously achieved the feat at the 2017 Coupe Rogers and 2018 Mutua Madrid Open, while No. 28 seed Tiafoe has already scored his best result at a Masters 1000 event this fortnight. They’re even in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series at 1-1, with both matches taking place last year on American hard courts.
“It’s always great to play Frances. We’re really good buddies and I think very highly of him. He’s going to be a great champion and he’s got a really bright future ahead of him,” said Shapovalov. “It’s going to be an exciting match. We’re both shotmakers, so I’m just ready for another fun [and] tough match.”
Their quarter-final has all the makings of a match made for the highlight reel. Both Shapovalov and Tiafoe are big hitters and aren’t afraid to gamble at crucial junctures of a match. They’ve also logged plenty of hours on court this fortnight and the final result could come down to fitness. Shapovalov was pushed to a deciding set in two of his Miami matches, including his third-set tie-break win over Stefanos Tsitsipas that finished on Wednesday morning at 1:40 a.m. Meanwhile, Tiafoe has spent at least two hours on court for all of his matches.
Semi-final doubles action will also take place on the Grandstand. Top seeds Lukasz Kubot / Marcelo Melo take on third seeds Bob Bryan / Mike Bryan and Ivan Dodig / Edouard Roger-Vasselin square off against Wesley Koolhof / Stefanos Tsitsipas.
ORDER OF PLAY - THURSDAY, 28 MARCH 2019
STADIUM start 1:00 pm
Not Before 9:00 pm
GRANDSTAND start 1:00 pm Lukasz Kubot (POL) / Marcelo Melo (BRA) vs  Bob Bryan (USA) / Mike Bryan (USA)