Two players who have had time off of late will meet in a dream semifinal Saturday in Stuttgart. Playing his first event since March, Roger Federer cruised in the semifinals today with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Argentine lefty Guido Pella.
“I thought I was in good control today. I thought I served well. I didn’t give Guido many chances to get into my service games, except maybe the last couple,” Federer said. “I was happy that I also got more rhythm today.
“I thought I was able to stay aggressive. I really wanted to cut down the length of the points as much as possible to see how that goes,” Federer added. “I think that was a good decision.”
Tomorrow, Federer will face Nick Kyrgios who due to a bad elbow is playing his first event since early April. Kyrgios enjoyed a terrific win over Feliciano Lopez 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.
Federer and Kyrgios have split two prior meetings. Then just 20, Krygios stunned Federer in Madrid three years ago saving two match points. The Swiss got Kyrgios in a Miami thriller last year.
“We’ve had some brutal matches against each other, in Miami, in Madrid,” Federer said. “He’s always dangerous, especially on the grass. I think I will enjoy playing against him.”
If Federer wins, by reaching the final he’ll also return to the No. 1 ranking, overtaking Rafael Nadal.
In the other semifinal, Milos Raonic will take on Lucas Pouille. The Frenchman Pouille knocked out Denis Istomin in three sets while Raonic edged Tomas Berdych in two breakers.
“Today was a difficult match. I didn’t have any chances to break serve, so I had to be very good in my own game. I got a few good returns there in the tie-breaks and I was a little bit lucky, but I’m happy with the way I competed,” Raonic said. “It’s never easy playing tie-breaks. It could go either way very quickly. So you’ve got to be very disciplined with yourself and I was fortunate to get through today.”
In Den Bosch, Kyrgios’s countryman Bernard Tomic is having a banner week. Now down to 181 in the rankings and having come through qualifying, the Australian Tomic ousted Fernando Verdasco to reach his first semifinal in two years. Tomic will take on Richard Gasquet who got through the promising Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas 7-6, 7-6.
Matt Ebden and Jeremy Chardy will clash in the other semifinal.
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