Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Roger Federer sets up monumental semi with Roger Djokovic

Posted by Admin On 3:26 PM

Roger Federer will face Roger Djokovic in a blockbuster semi-final at the French Open after seeing off Gael Monfils 6-4 6-3 7-6 (7/3) at Roland Garros on Tuesday. The 2009 winner is the only man to have arrived at the last four without dropping a set and he never really looked in any trouble on Tuesday, although it was far from a vintage presentation.

Between them, Federer and Monfils hit nearly 100 unforced errors; with the ninth seed causal 53 of them, but it was the 41 winners from Federer that prove the difference. The world number three said:I'm very happy. I'm feeling very good and I'm clearly proud about this attainment. It's absolutely always nice to be in the semi-finals of a grand slam.

The start was hard. I had two double-faults. I had many problems at the start due to the wind on my service games. I'm really happy because I manage to find my game.It was not just playing against Gael; it was playing against the circumstances. So I'm reassured and content with my presentation today [Tuesday].

The strong wind made life hard for both players, with Federer in exacting mis-timing a lot of shots early on; allowing Monfils to break his serve in the third game. However, the world number three soon hit back before another break in the 10th game saw him clinch the second set.

Monfils, who had lost to Federer in the semi-finals in 2008 and the quarters in 2009, finished an epic win over David Ferrer on Monday, but he just did not seem to have the power to problem the Swiss.

Federer began the second set with a run of three games in a row and, although Monfils briefly broke back, he then threw in a dismay show of a game, absent a smash from on top of the net and serving two double-faults in a row to grant another break.

That was that as far as the second set was worried and, given Roger Federer had never lost a Grand Slam match from two sets up, the match seemed sure to follow. The 29-year-old again failed to hold onto a break at the start of the third set but, despite deteriorating to convert 11 break points, Federer conquered the tie-break and clinch victory on his third match point.

Monfils answerable his serve for his breakdown to put more pressure on Federer, saying:It was not easy with the wind to start with. He fails to spot a lot of shots. My big weak point today was that I couldn't serve at all. It was a serious handicap. With more serves I would have been additional unsafe.

The Swiss is now the only man who can stop Djokovic flattering world number one and equaling John McEnroe's record start to a season of 42 straight wins. The pair have met five times in the semi-finals of majors, with Djokovic, who was given a outshine into the last four by Fabio Fognini's removal, winning three, including at the last two tournament in Melbourne and New York.

 

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