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By Chris Oddo | Friday, August 8, 2014

 
Roger Federer, Rogers Cup 2014

Roger Federer fought past a determined David Ferrer in Toronto to reach the semifinals of the Rogers Cup.

Photo Source: AP

Roger Federer has dominated David Ferrer thoroughly over their thirteen-year history on the ATP Tour, but on Friday night in Toronto the two played a fierce, edgy match that could have gone either way.

Until, of course, it didn’t.

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Federer won for the 15th time in 15 career matches against Ferrer, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3, to reach the semifinals of the Rogers Cup, where he’ll next face Feliciano Lopez.

Federer, who turned 33 on Friday, appeared to be in complete control of his longtime whipping boy as the crowd serenaded him with "Happy Birthday" early in the second set. When he broke in the ensuing game it felt like a blowout was in the works.


But the feisty Ferrer turned the tables on the second seed with his trademark, all-in aggression. He started to sink his teeth into the rallies, and the Federer game went astray. The Spaniard overcame a break deficit by forcing Federer into a bevy of errors (21 all told in the second set) and he broke for a 5-4 lead and served the set out with aplomb to force the decider.

Ending his personal 10-set losing streak against Federer seemed to embolden Ferrer as he continued to take the play to Federer in the early going of the third set.

A sizzling down-the-line backhand pass put Ferrer in position to draw first blood in the fifth game, and for the first time in the match it truly seemed like Ferrer had gnawed his way inside Federer’s head like he does to so many other ATP players. But Federer would find his way, erasing the opportunity with a big serve down the T that Ferrer bunted well long.

In search of his third Rogers Cup title, Federer would go on the prowl in the next game, breaking Ferrer to 15 when his backhand down the line forced Ferrer to dump a forehand squash shot into the net.

Federer would hold serve in his next two service games to close out the battle in one hour and fifty-three minutes.

Though he hit 49 unforced errors, Federer was aided by the fact that he held the big advantage of 35 to 10 in the winner category.

With the victory Federer improves to 43-8 on the season, and 4-0 on his birthday. Fittingly, he celebrated on court after the match with a bit of impromptu chocolate cake.

Federer will be back in action tomorrow evening, when he takes on Feliciano Lopez in the second semifinal.

Notes, Numbers>>>

Federer's 298th Masters 1000 wins puts him two away from becoming the first player in history to win 300.

Federer's head-to-head against Lopez is 10-0.

The last time Ferrer had won a set from Federer was in Madrid in 2010. The Spaniard has only won four of 35 sets played against Ferrer lifetime.

 

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