WESTERN & SOUTHERN OPEN 2012
Federer Cruises Past Tomic; Raonic Ousts Berdych
by ATP Staff|
World No. 1 Roger Federer impressed in a 6-2, 6-4 victory over Australia’s Bernard Tomic on Thursday in Cincinnati to reach the Western & Southern Open quarter-finals. The Swiss dropped just 13 points on serve throughout and didn’t face a break point as he claimed victory in 62 minutes against the No. 49-ranked Tomic.
Comparing the match to the one they played in the Australian Open fourth round in January, Federer said, "It was more a first-strike tennis, and I think I'm just a bit better at it still today. I was able to mix it up well and not have too many hiccups on my own serve. Then I was able to create some opportunities and take advantage of that and get the win."
The 31-year-old Federer is chasing a fifth title at this ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament, having previously triumphed in 2005 (d. Roddick), 2007 (d. Blake), 2009 (d. Djokovic) and 2010 (d. Fish). In a repeat of the 2010 final, he will face Mardy Fish in Friday’s quarter-finals after the American defeated Radek Stepanek earlier in the day.
Looking ahead to the match with Fish, Federer commented, "He's always been a difficult player to play against for all players on tour, because he has everything a player needs: he's got a great return; he's got a great serve; he can move forward, and now obviously he moves obviously much better than he has at the beginning of his career. That's nice to see."
Federer is playing his first event since winning the silver medal at the London 2012 Olympics. Earlier in the season the Basel native captured his 17th Grand Slam championship at Wimbledon (d. Murray) and also lifted the trophies in Rotterdam (d. del Potro), Dubai (d. Murray), Indian Wells (d. Isner) and Madrid (d. Berdych). He is bidding to win a record-equalling 21st ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crown this week.
Federer was joined in the quarter-finals by countryman Stanislas Wawrinka, who broke serve four times as he dismissed 14th-seeded Japanese player Kei Nishikori 6-3, 6-3. The 27-year-old Wawrinka has hit form after coming into Cincinnati on the back of four successive defeats and is through to the quarter-finals here for the first time in six visits.
Wawrinka will next face Canadian Milos Raonic, who ousted fifth-seeded Czech Tomas Berdych 6-4, 2-6, 6-2 after one hour and 52 minutes. Raonic fired 20 aces and countered losing his serve twice by breaking Berdych three times from eight opportunities. The victory was Raonic's fourth against a Top 10 player this year.
Raonic said about the hard hitting in the match, "I think he prefers it more than I do. I think that was the issue with the second set: I was just trying to play a little bit too flat and hard through him. I wasn't using height and sort of angles to pull him off the court. I think he does that better than I do.
"But it was a good match for me. I did a lot of things well, and I'm happy with the way I closed it out after I had a really bad lapse in the second set."
The 21-year-old Canadian also reached the quarter-finals last week in Toronto (l. to Isner), and afterwards broke into the Top 20 of the South African Airways ATP Rankings for the first time.