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By Richard Pagliaro | Thursday, August 10, 2017

 
Roger Federer

Roger Federer extended his winning streak to 14 matches with a 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 victory over David Ferrer in Montreal.

Photo credit: Minas Panagiotakis/Getty

A three-day beard stubble and scruffy sprout of early errors left Roger Federer looking uncharacteristically unruly at the outset of his 17th meeting with David Ferrer.

Shrugging off the sloppy start, Federer detangled the knots from his game and extended his winning streak to 14 matches.

Watch: Del Potro Dazzles In Doubles

Federer dispatched Ferrer for the 17th time in as many meetings, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2, advancing to his sixth quarterfinal of the season in Montreal.


The man who swept the sunshine double with back-to-back Masters crowns in Indian Wells and Miami, raised his  record to 33-2 on the season, including a 13-0 Masters mark. Federer will face Roberto Bautista Agut for a semifinal spot. 

The 12th-seeded Spaniard fought off a match point serving at 5-6 in the final set subduing Gael Monfils, 4-6, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (1) in a three-hour action-packed match.

“I’m happy, as I knew I would have to play a lot of rallies,” Bautista Agut said. “I’m going to try and recover and enjoy the win today before preparing for tomorrow’s match.”

Monfils saved four match points beating Kei Nishikori yesterday.

The 36-year-old Federer has dominated Bautista Agut sweeping all six of their prior matches without surrendering a set.

It wasn’t a pristine start for the eight-time Wimbledon champion, who struggled to control his backhand at times and looked rushed a bit trying to time Ferrer’s topspin. Federer committed three errors to face double break point in his opening service game.

Sliding an ace out wide to erase the second, Federer netted a forehand for a third break point.

A stinging serve down the middle nullified it, but Federer double faulted for a fourth break point. Ferrer misfired on successive forehands as Federer fended off all four break points leveling after two games.

Still searching for his range and rhythm, Federer alternately misfired a few forehands long then slapped some shots into the net. The second seed saved two more break points in the fourth game—by then Ferrer had failed to convert on six break points—but Federer flat-lined successive drives into net as the Spaniard broke for 3-1.

A snazzy Federer forehand drop volley stopped a three-game slide.

Crowding the baseline, Ferrer did a fine job taking the ball early when he could and jamming shots back into Federer’s hip. Knowing Federer had feasted on his second serve in dominating their head-to-head series, Ferrer was more ambitious on serve in the first set.

The two-time champion surged to triple break point in the seventh game. Ferrer dug in and responded with some biting second serves into the body.

Federer slapped a forehand into net to drop the opening set, snapping his streak of 32 consecutive sets.

A commitment to moving forward into the court empowered Federer to start the second set with a break. Once he had the lead, the 19-time Grand Slam champion swung more freely and attacked with his forehand.

A feisty Ferrer dodged a set point in the ninth game, slipping an ace down the middle to hold for 4-5.




Closure was complicated.

Serving for the set, Federer fell into a 15-40 hole, but fended off both break points with wide serves that left Ferrer howling in frustration. Federer drilled a forehand down the line to seal the set and force a decider.

All the good work Ferrer did through two sets deserted him with a putrid start to the third set.

Tapping a drop shot attempt into net to open, Ferrer followed with a forehand error then sprayed a diagonal forehand dropping serve at 15.

Snarling at himself at a miss, Federer clamped down denying a break point. Zapping his 10th ace, Federer confirmed the break for 2-0.

Flowing through one of his smoothest service games of the match, Federer ladled a forehand drop shot and lasered an ace holding for 4-2.




That game flicked Federer into another gear as he mixed the backhand down the line with some heavy forehands banging out his fifth break for 5-2.

On match point, a lunging Federer scraped out a slick backhand volley then punched a forehand volley winner to end a one hour,  56-minute encounter.

World No. 52 Robin Haase surprised seventh-seeded Grigor Dimitrov, 7-6 (3), 4-6, 6-1, to advance to his second career Masters quarterfinal. Haase will play Diego Schwartzman, who pulled off an 0-6, 7-5, 7-5 comeback win over American Jared Donaldson

 

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