It seems to be Roger Federer’s title for the taking this weekend in Montreal at the Rogers Cup.
On Friday Federer continued his net-rushing attack versus No. 12-seeded Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut, who he topped 6-4, 6-4 to move into the semis.
“I think it pays off playing aggressive here in Montreal,” Federer said. “Plus I feel comfortable at the net so why not spend some time up there instead of slugging it out from the baseline?”
If Federer wins Montreal and finishes ahead of Rafael Nadal next week at Cincinnati, he would re-take the No. 1 ranking, a feat unheard of when he was coming off a six-month injury layoff at the beginning of the year.
“Now that Rafa is out I know I can make big strides, especially if I was to go further than the semis here,” the Swiss said. “But it’s all connected to great play.”
Federer will next meet unseeded Robin Haase, who beat unseeded Argentine Diego Schwartzman 4-6, 6-3, 6-3.
“I played a lot of good matches, especially yesterday against [Grigor] Dimitrov,” Haase said. “It’s tough to come back and play that same level. I didn’t, but I managed to win because I kept fighting. You could see that we were both mentally…It took a lot out of us. We beat good guys. We’ve been playing really well. Then to do it on this stage again for your first semis, it’s not easy.”
Federer is 1-0 career against Haase, beating him in 2012 in Davis Cup play.
The other semifinal will be Canadian Cinderella wildcard Denis Shapovalova, who upset Adrian Mannarino 2-6, 6-3, 6-4, against No. 4 seed Alexander Zverev, who defeated unseeded Kevin Anderson 7-5, 6-4.
“Without a crowd like this, it’s extremely hard to turn a match around,” Shapovalov told ESPN. “They helped so much to really get me pumped up and get me playing my game.”
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