Federer Clubs Coria at ATP Hamburg

Posted on May 14, 2005

In a battle of two guys who know how to play in Hamburg, World No. 1 and two-time tournament champ Roger Federer sent a crisp and clear message to the Roland Garros contenders that he is for real after defeating Guillermo Coria 6-4, 7-6(3) in a quarterfinal encounter on Friday.

Federer, who has faced some serious competition amid poor conditions, has dropped ZERO sets all week and is the outright favorite to capture his sixth ATP title on the season on Sunday.

“I have the feeling, I'm back to a very good form on clay,” said Federer. “The last few years I've always felt good here in Hamburg. I don't want to over estimate my level of play. Because once I get on the French Open courts, the balls are different, the clay a bit quicker, who knows. I will just have to adjust again. I'm feeling good.”

Federer was actually 3-1 down in the first set and 5-3 down in the second set before overcoming both deficits. Coria served for the second set at 5-4 but Federer broke for the third time in the match.

“I had my chances, especially serving at 5:4 in the second set. I had to fight very hard for each point. The game was played at such high intensity,” Coria said. “It was a shame I couldn't take my chances. Today the way I feel is that it is almost impossible to beat Federer.”

Sorry, Guillermo, it wasn’t a shame.

Among the other winners on Friday were a pair of qualifiers who will face each other in the semifinals with Richard Gasquet (d. Seppi) and Christophe Rochus, a 3-6, 6-0, 6-3 victor over Juan Ignacio Chela.

Federer will meet Nikolay Davydenko, who defeated Filippo Volandri 7-6(5), 6-4 in Saturday’s semifinals.

“It's the best moment of my career so far,” said Rochus, who sort of resembles a tennis ball. “I have to enjoy it, even if I know I have one more match tomorrow. Today, it's like a present to me. So, I have to enjoy it first and then tomorrow start to be back for the semifinal.”

In the doubles semifinals, No. 2 seeds Bjorkman-Mirnyi take on Croatians Ancic-Ljubicic and No. 6 seeds Paes-Zimonjic play No. 8 Llodra-Santoro