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Federer Withstands Ferrer; Lopez Downs Raonic In Toronto

Toronto, Canada

Federer© Getty ImagesRoger Federer retains a perfect record when playing on his birthday, 8 August.

Roger Federer withstood the game of fifth seed David Ferrer, winning 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 in the Rogers Cup quarter-finals in Toronto on Friday evening to claim yet another victory on his birthday.

The World No. 3 broke his Spanish opponent five times and won 80 per cent of his first-serve points in the battle lasting one hour and 53 minutes. Federer saved three of six break points and did not drop serve in the final set.

"I was able to find energy and really serve better at the very end, which was key against David because he was doing a really good job on my second serve to put me under pressure," said Federer.

The crowd at the Rexall Centre, aware of the day's occasion, serenaded the second seed with the "Happy Birthday" song after the first game of the second set.

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"It's very much appreciated," expressed Federer. "It's so nice seeing so many people care for you and wishing you all the best and all that."

Federer, who turned 33 years old today, improved to a 4-0 record when playing on his birthday, also winning in Montreal in 2003 (d. Mirnyi) and 2007 (d. Karlovic) and in Toronto in 2006 (d. Mathieu). The Swiss No. 1 also extended his perfect record in FedEx ATP Head2Head meetings against Ferrer, to 15-0.

In his 51st semi-final at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 level, Federer will face another Spaniard, Feliciano Lopez.

Sixth seed Milos Raonic fell in a close three-set battle against the unseeded Lopez 6-4, 7-6(5), 6-3 in the evening's first quarter-final.

Lopez broke the home favourite to love to secure the lone break in the first set, but squandered two mini-break leads in the second-set tie-break to keep alive Raonic's bid for a second consecutive Rogers Cup semi-final.

The left-handed Lopez stayed with Raonic in the decider, saving the only nine break points he faced in the match while serving at 2-all. This week, the World No. 25 has saved 27 of 29 break points faced. He would later break the Raonic serve to go up 5-3 before comfortably holding to close out victory in one hour and 57 minutes.

"I was lucky I went for the shots in that long game when I faced nine break points, and in the end, somehow I got another break," said Lopez. "This is tennis. On these kind of courts, in situations where both players are very aggressive and both players are serving great, this is how it is.

"With Milos, I have to be aggressive, because if not, he's going to dominate," said Lopez. "I have been [playing] this game the whole week and it was working perfectly. So for me there was no reason to change it while playing Milos today."

Raonic, the World No. 6, was bidding to reach the semi-finals of this Canadian ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event for the second year in succession, after a runner-up finish to Rafael Nadal in 2013. The 23 year old had entered Toronto fresh from earning his sixth title, at the Citi Open (d. Pospisil).

"The crowd was great. They helped me out with a lot of difficult situations this week where I wasn't able to play necessarily my best tennis," said Raonic. "I'm grateful to have that kind of support when I'm playing at home."

Lopez, who claimed the Eastbourne title in June, improved to 2-2 in his FedEx ATP Head2Head series against Raonic, and will contest his third semi-final at the Masters 1000 level.

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