A change in time due and day due to rain had zero negative on Roger Federer in Miami. The 3-time champion had his match against Daniil Medvedev pushed from Tuesday night to Wednesday afternoon, and the Swiss never missed a beat hammering the Russian 6-4, 6-2.
Long rallies, short rallies, Federer was in control and in a comfort zone against the Medvedev who is 14 years junior.
“It’s not always simple. Margins are super slim. You need a bit of help sometimes from your opponent,” Federer said. “But you can definitely fight your way in that position. And I did. I got the break to go up 5-4, and then, sure, he had 0/40, but he’s still under pressure. He has to break. He knows that. Maybe with that pressure, to some extent, you somehow find a way. And I did.
“Maybe a bit of frustration kicks in, and next thing you know, instead of it being 4-all you’re up 6-4, 2-0 and it’s tough… These best-of-three-set matches can be very tricky. Today I showed why that is. I’m very happy how I played today, especially in that spell.”
Federer will now get another look at Kevin Anderson who had the day off. The South Florida native beat Federer last summer at Wimbledon, though Federer avenged the loss at the ATP Finals.
“I think it’s going to be a bit tricky. He’s got a great serve, so you go back to big-serve mentality to try to hold your own service games first before thinking about how to break Kevin,” Federer said. “But I think I’m feeling really good. Today’s match I can be really happy with. I hope it’s going to give me some confidence for tomorrow.”
Federer leads Anderson 5-1.
Defending champion John Isner won his 10th straight match in Miami overcoming Roberto Bautista Agut 7-6(1), 7-6(5). The Spaniard led Isner 3-0 with two mini-breaks in the second set breaker, but Isner ran off seven of the next nine points.
Entering the semifinals, Isner’s won seven of his eight sets this event in breakers.
Tomorrow in the semifinals, Isner will take on the Canadian phenom Felix Auger-Aliassime who continues to bust out. Last night, the 18-year-old held off an early fight from Borna Coric, but pulled away late behind his vast array of shotmaking and power.
“Playing Borna, who’s been established for a few years now, I definitely didn’t expect to win. I expected more, a set like in the first. But the second really surprised me. I felt like I had margin over him, had a bit of an edge. I just felt really comfortable out there from the first balls,” Auger-Aliassime said.
Auger-Aliassime had never played in Miami before, and now he becomes the youngest semifinalist in tournament history, younger than Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras ever were when they reached this stage.
“It’s a privilege to be compared to all these great players. I think it just shows that I’m doing good things, I’m on the right track,” Auger-Aliassime said. “But I think I’m seeing the long term, and right now I’m just enjoying every day, enjoying every match, because you never know what’s going to happen next.”
The result will move him into the Top 35 and close to a Slam seeding down the road. And it sets him up against the big man Isner on Friday.
Today’s afternoon quarterfinal pits young guns Denis Shapovalov, who hopes to join his countryman FAA in the semifinals, against Frances Tiafoe.
THURSDAY MIAMI SCHEDULE
Stadium 1:00 Pm
SF 21 Anett Kontaveit v 12 Ashleigh Barty
Not Before 3:00 Pm
QF 20 Denis Shapovalov v 28 Frances Tiafoe
Not Before 7:00 Pm
QF 6 Kevin Anderson v 4 Roger Federer
Not Before 9:00 Pm
SF 5 Karolina Pliskova v 2 Simona Halep
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