Federer Moves Into Dubai SFs, Coric Next; Monfils v Tsitsipas
After consecutive three set wins, Roger Federer has an easier day in the Dubai quarterfinals Thursday, besting Marton Fucsovics 7-6(6), 6-4.
“I’m very happy to have found a way to the semis,” said Federer who has never lost in the Dubai quarterfinal round. “It was a good level of play considering all the difficulties that were on the court today.”
Fucsovics overcame a 3-0 deficit in the first set breaker to lead 6-4 with two set points before the Swiss came through in the clutch.
In the second, Federer blew an early break lead but managed to break at 4-all and then finished his opponent off after a brief rain delay.
“It’s tricky to come back and just hit winners after,” Federer said of the delay. “Sometimes it’s a disadvantage. Sometimes it was an advantage. We made the most of it.
The tiebreak was tough. I’m happy I found a way to get out of that one. That was an exciting match, to say the least.”
Federer moves on to face Borna Coric who needed a final set breaker to beat Nikolaz Basilashvili. The pair have split four meetings but the Croatian has won the last two, stunning Federer in Halle and Shanghai last year.
“He’s really found his game. I remember when he came up, I played him here actually. Then he also beat Murray here, beat Rafa in Basel,” Federer said of Coric. “Then he struggled for a while, then found his game again. We’ve had a couple tough matches as of late. He beat me on two of those occasions. I think we’re 2-2 in the past four.
“I’m happy for Borna to have really understood his game. That’s really important at the top level if you want to win the big tournaments, which he has now.”
In the second semifinal, Sunday tournament winners Gael Monfils and Stefanos Tsitsipas collide. Both needed three sets on Thursday.
Monfils took down Ricardis Berankis for his eighth straight win after capturing the Rotterdam title.
Tsitsipas ran his win streak to seven after coming from a set down to deny Hubert Hurkacz. Tsitipas took the Marseille title on Sunday.
If Tsitsipas wins, he’ll break the Top 10.
“I’m thinking about it almost every day,” Tsitsipas said. “I want it badly. I want it to happen very much.
“It’s a good motivation, because I’m so close, to get it as early as possible. Me personally, I feel like I have the game to be there already, maybe even in the future, but as soon as possible. It’s better if it happens as soon as possible. It’s better for me, for my confidence as well.”
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