Alexander Zverev won the much anticipated battle of GenNext ATP stars as he defeated local favourite Denis Shapovalov 6-4, 7-5 to enter the final of Coupe Rogers where he will face the legendary Swiss Roger Federer who took out Dutchman Robin Haase 6-3, 7-6(5) in the first semi final in Montreal on Saturday.
The two time champion Federer, who won the title in the year 2004 and 2006 when it was played in Toronto will have a shot at winning his first title in Montreal and his 27th ATP Master’s series event. After an early exchange of service breaks, Federer broke one more time and took the first set 6-3. Neither player faced break point in the second and after the Swiss took a 4-2 lead Haase took the next three as Federer hit a forehand long and then Haase hit two aces. Federer then replied with three consecutive points and sealed the match in one hour fifteen minutes as the Dutchman hit a forehand long.
Haase, playing in his maiden semi final equaled Federer with 9 aces and one double fault. It was only their second meeting, Federer claiming their previous encounter in the 2012 world group play off tie in straight sets. Haase will get 360 points for his semi final showing and is projected to rise to no. 35 in the rankings. He had a career high no. 33 ranking in July 2012. Federer will equal Ivan Lendl’s tally of 94 titles should he win on Sunday against the fourth seeded Zverev.
In the second semi final played in the night session, the 20 year old Zverev took advantage of the only break point either player faced in the first set to claim the only service break of the set. Zverev saved a total of six break points out of seven in the second set, while Shapovalov could not save any of three break points he faced, including two in the second set. Zverev is now 45-13 with four titles already this year including his maiden Masters series 1000 event in Rome on clay, in Washington last week at the Citi Open on hard courts, and in Munich on clay and Montpellier on indoor courts.
Federer leads Zverev 2-1 in their career meetings, the pair split their matches on grass in Haale, while Federer won in 2017, Zverev won in 2016, a month before the Swiss won their first meeting on clay in Rome. Federer will trail Nadal by 10 points and Andy Murray by 205 points if he were to win the final. In that scenario he only needs to equal or better Nadal in Cincinnati next week as Nadal will lose 90 points and Murray will lose the 600 points they earned last year in Cincinnati.
Prediction :- Federer is 35-2 this year having won grand slam titles in Melbourne at the Australian Open and at Wimbledon, in addition to the Indian Wells and Miami double and the grass court warm up event in Halle. As mentioned earlier Zverev is 45-13 this year and going for his fifth title. The young German will rise to a career high no. 7 in rankings with a win over the 36 year old Federer. The stakes are very high and it is a tough call. Expect the more experienced Federer to come through this one in three tight sets.
– Rasesh Mehta [Rasesh Mehta is an analyst with the Tennis Galaxy. You can reach him at the email: sportzcosmos@]