Serena and Federer both survive tough challenges
Wednesday afternoon Roger Federer survived a tougher than expected fight from Vasek Pospisil by a 7-6, 5-7, 6-2 score line to advance to the Round of 16.
In doing so, Federer has become the only man to record 300 wins in the ATP Masters 1000 tournaments.
“It’s a nice round number,” said Federer when asked post-match about the 300-win mark. “I have some more important ones than the one today, but nevertheless it’s nice to reach such milestones.”
Early in the match, both Federer and Pospisil struggled to create any break opportunities on the other’s serve, creating just three each through the first two sets.
Federer struggled to take control of the match through the first two sets until early in the third set when he changed tactics from generating pace of his own to looping balls a bit higher and deeper, forcing Pospisil to create his own pace.
Pospisil would commit an error from the change of tactics, giving Federer the 2-1 lead effectively taking wind of Pospisil’s sails. Federer would go on to break Pospisil’s serve again for a 4-1 lead before taking the final set 6-2.
Federer is the only semifinalist from last week’s Rogers Cup tournament in Toronto, besting Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Grigor Dimitrov, and Feliciano Lopez’s performances in Cincinnati, proving just how difficult it is to win the back-to-back Masters 1000 tournaments.
Roger Federer will take on Gael Monfils Thursday evening in the Round of 16.
Serena Williams, the women’s top ranked player, also survived a tough test, besting Sam Stosur 7-6(7), 7-6(7).
Just last week in Montreal, Williams beat Stosur 6-0, 6-2. Comparing the two matches, Williams said, “She was extremely aggressive today. She made very few unforced errors. She did everything really well.”
Neither woman was able to muster any sort of attack on the other’s serve with only one break point chance in the match for each woman.
In the first set tiebreak, Stosur claimed an early 4-0 lead on a Williams’ double fault. Williams would fight back in the tiebreak before firing an unreturnable 101 mile per hour second serve down the middle to claim the tiebreak 9-7.
The second set would be even more serve dominated than the first as Williams would win 15 of 16 points on her first serve and 28 of 36 points on her serve overall. Again, we were headed for a tiebreak.
Again, Stosur had the early lead and twice had set points. She netted a rally forehand on the first set point, then hit a forehand long on the second. Just like the first set, Williams would close out the set with a strong second serve, this time out wide, by a 9-7 score line.
Asked about the tough matches she has had this summer Serena said “I haven’t had a lot of three-set wins this year until this summer. It’s been really good to play such close matches and then come out on top even though I’m defeated and then down. To be able to actually win those are really good.”
Serena Williams moves on to the Round of 16 where she will face 13-seed Flavia Pennetta in her quest for her first title in Cincinnati.