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Toronto Semi-Final Saturday Preview

Toronto, Canada

Federer© Getty ImagesRoger Federer continues his quest for ATP World Tour Masters 1000 victory No. 300.

• FINAL FOUR: Roger Federer clashes with Feliciano Lopez and Grigor Dimitrov goes up against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga as the four remaining players battle it out on Day 6 for a coveted spot in Sunday’s Rogers Cup final. While Federer is appearing in his sixth Rogers Cup semi-final (4-1) and Tsonga his third (0-2), it will be Dimitrov and Lopez’s first outing at this stage in Canada. Daniel Nestor, making his 26th straight tournament appearance, and Nenad Zimonjic remain on course for their second Rogers Cup title as a team (after 2008). They take on Alexander Peya and Bruno Soares in today’s semi-finals. The other final four doubles match-up sees Cilic/Gonzalez play Dodig/Melo.

• THE BIG FOUR: Federer is looking to continue the Big Four’s domination of the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 events. In the past 39 Masters 1000 tournaments (since 2010 Monte-Carlo), Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Federer have accounted for 36 titles. The only exceptions over the last four and a half years came in Paris-Bercy in 2010 (Soderling) and 2012 (Ferrer) and Monte-Carlo in 2014 (Wawrinka). The quartet have also shared the last 10 Rogers Cup titles between them, with Andy Roddick the last non-Big Four winner in Montréal in 2003.

Watch Dimitrov QF Tie-break Moments

• MASTERS 1000 TITLE LEADERBOARD: Federer and Tsonga have both won ATP World Tour Masters 1000 titles before. The Frenchman’s lone success at this level came in Paris in 2008 (d. Nalbandian). Federer, a two-time winner here, is looking to close the gap on Nadal in first place on the all-time list, while Lopez and Dimitrov are looking to reach a maiden Masters 1000 final.

Player Titles
Rafael Nadal (ESP)
Roger Federer (SUI)
Novak Djokovic (SRB)
Andre Agassi (USA)
Pete Sampras (USA) 11

• 2014 TITLE HOLDERS: Dimitrov is contesting a second ATP World Tour Masters 1000 semi-final after making an initial breakthrough earlier this year in Rome (l. to Nadal). The Bulgarian, who is the youngest player in the Top 10 of the Emirates ATP Rankings, has won three titles on as many surfaces this year. Of the four remaining players, only Tsonga has yet to win a title this year. 2014 title leaders:

Player Titles
Novak Djokovic (SRB)
Rafael Nadal (ESP)
Grigor Dimitrov (BUL)
Stan Wawrinka (SUI)



[13] Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) vs [7] Grigor Dimitrov (BUL)

FedEx Head 2 Head: Tsonga leads 3-0
2011 Rotterdam (The Netherlands) Hard R32 J-W Tsonga 6-4 6-4
2011 Wimbledon (Great Britain) Grass R64 J-W Tsonga 6-7(4) 6-4 6-4 7-6(8)
2011 Beijing (China) Hard R32 J-W Tsonga 7-6(5) 7-5

• Tsonga recovered from a 0-3 deficit in the deciding before seeing off No. 8 seed Andy Murray 7-6(5), 4-6, 6-4 in two hours and 19 minutes to reach his seventh ATP Masters 1000 SF.
• Tsonga ousted top seed Novak Djokovic 6-2, 6-2 in the 3R to end an 11-match losing streak against the Serb and register his third career win over a world No. 1. The Frenchman is one of three players (also Del Potro and Murray) to beat Djokovic, Federer and Nadal while they were No. 1.
• Tsonga saw off fellow countrymen Edouard Roger-Vasselin and Jeremy Chardy in his opening two rounds.
• Tsonga leads the way in aces hit this week with 59.
• Tsonga has now reached the SF in three of his four visits to the Rogers Cup. In 2009 he defeated two Top 10 opponents, including then world No. 1 Federer, en route to the final four (l. to Murray). He also notched two Top 10 wins in 2011 before falling to Djokovic in the SF. On his last outing in 2012 he fell to fellow Frenchman Jeremy Chardy in his opening match.
• Tsonga is bidding to reach his third ATP Masters 1000 final (1-1) and 20th overall (10-9). His only two final appearances at this level came indoors in Paris Bercy in 2008 (d. Nalbandian) and 2011 (l. to Federer). He’s also looking to become just the second Frenchman in the Open Era to reach the Rogers Cup final, after Richard Gasquet in 2006 and 2012.
• Tsonga is looking to register his third straight Top 10 win for first time since the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London in 2011 when he reached the final (l. to Federer).
• Tsonga is now 31-60 against Top 10 players and 2-7 this year.
• Tsonga is playing his first tournament since Wimbledon (l. to eventual champ Djokovic in 4R).
• Tsonga reached his lone final this season on home soil in Marseille in February (l. to Gulbis). At Indian Wells, Tsonga fell in his opening match to Benneteau, a result which saw him drop to No. 11 on Mar 17 – his first week outside the Top 10 since Aug 29, 2011. He now sits at No. 15.
• Tsonga finished 2013 in the Top 10 for the third year in a row and for the fifth time in six years, reaching the QF or better 10 times. His lone title came indoors in Marseille.
• Dimitrov saved two MPs en route to a marathon 5-7, 7-5, 7-6(6) victory over Kevin Anderson, reaching his second ATP World Tour SF. It marked the second time this year that Dimitrov saved MPs before winning; he also achieved the feat in the Queen’s final against Feliciano Lopez.
• Dimitrov took two hours and five minutes to edge past Tommy Robredo 7-5, 5-7, 6-4 in the 3R. The Bulgarian clinched his first ever win at the Rogers Cup with a 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 defeat of Donald Young in the 2R.
• Dimitrov fell in the 1R on his only previous Rogers Cup appearance in 2013 (l. to Granollers).
• Dimitrov now has a 5-0 record in third set TBs this year and 9-0 going back to Bangkok in 2012. He also has a 14-2 record in decisive-set matches this season.
• Dimitrov is trying to reach his sixth Tour final and a first at ATP Masters 1000 level. If he wins today, he’ll become the third player born in the 1990s, after Raonic (Montréal 2013) and Janowicz (Paris 2012), to reach a Masters 1000 final.
• Dimitrov could rise as high as No. 6 in the Emirates ATP Rankings next week if he wins the title.
• Dimitrov, who was forced to withdraw from Washington D.C. last week with a flu and sinus infection, is making his first competitive appearance since reaching a maiden Grand Slam SF at Wimbledon. At the All England Club, the Bulgarian saw off defending champion Andy Murray in the QF before falling to eventual champion Novak Djokovic.
• Dimitrov broke the Top 10 in the Emirates ATP Rankings for the first time on July 7, rising to No. 9. He is at a career-high No. 8 this week and is the youngest player in the Top 10.
• Dimitrov currently sits at No. 6 in the Race to London standings. He has never qualified for the year-end Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London.
• Dimitrov has won three titles on three different surfaces this year. After a title-winning run on hard courts at the ATP 500 event in Acapulco in March (d. No. 18 Gulbis, No. 7 Murray and No. 21 Anderson), he won on clay in Bucharest in April (d. Rosol). He then bounced back from a 1R loss to Ivo Karlovic at Roland Garros by winning at the Queen’s Club (d. F Lopez).
• Dimitrov produced a career-best performance at ATP Masters 1000 level in Rome in May, when he reached the SF before succumbing to Nadal. He has equaled that feat this week.
• Dimitrov is one of three players born in the 1990s to win multiple ATP World Tour titles, joining Raonic, who has six titles to his name, and Bernard Tomic, who has two.
• In 2013, Dimitrov improved his ranking for a sixth year in succession. He became the first Bulgarian to win an ATP World Tour event when he defeated Ferrer in the final of Stockholm.

Feliciano Lopez (ESP) vs [2] Roger Federer (SUI)

FedEx Head 2 Head: Federer leads 10-0
2003 Wimbledon (England) Grass R16 Roger Federer 7-6(5) 6-4 6-4
2003 ATP Masters Series Madrid (Spain) Hard QF Roger Federer 4-6 7-6(3) 6-4
2004 Dubai (U.A.E.) Hard F Roger Federer 4-6 6-1 6-2
2005 Doha (Qatar) Hard QF Roger Federer 6-1 6-2
2007 US Open (U.S.A.) Hard R16 Roger Federer 3-6 6-4 6-1 6-4
2007 ATP Masters Series Madrid (Spain) Hard QF Roger Federer 7-6(4) 6-4
2008 Basel (Switzerland) Hard SF Roger Federer 6-3 6-2
2011 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Madrid Clay R32 Roger Federer 7-6(13) 6-7(1) 7-6(7)
2011 Roland Garros (France) Clay R128 Roger Federer 6-3 6-4 7-6(3)
2012 Dubai (U.A.E.) Hard R16 Roger Federer 7-5 6-3

• This is the first Rogers Cup SF featuring two players aged 30 and over since 2005 when Andre Agassi (35) defeated Greg Rusedski (31).
• Lopez ended Canadian hopes in the competition, ousting Milos Raonic 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-3 to reach his third Masters 1000 SF. The Spaniard saved all 9 BPs he faced during the near two-hour contest.
• Lopez outlasted No. 4 seed Tomas Berdych 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the 3R. In the 2R, he saved all six BPs he faced as he overcame qualifier Tim Smyczek 7-5, 6-4 in the 2R. The 32-year-old got his week under way with a 7-6(7), 6-3 upset of world No. 16 Roberto Bautista Agut.
• Lopez has saved 27 of the 29 BPs he’s faced on serve this week, winning 50 of 52 service games.
• Lopez is making his 10th main draw appearance at the Rogers Cup. His previous best showing came on his debut in 2003 when he reached the QF (l. to Nalbandian).
• Lopez is bidding to reach his first ATP Masters 1000 final and 12th final overall. His only previous SF appearances at Masters 1000 level came in Shanghai in 2009 (l. to Nadal) & 2011 (l. to Ferrer).
• Lopez now has a 28-76 record against Top 10 opposition and he’s 3-4 this year. Lopez is projected to re-enter the Top 20 at No. 16 with his SF appearance here. He will rise to No. 15 with a win today and could go as high as No. 13 if he lifts the title.
• Lopez enjoyed a successful stint on the grass. He reached his 10th ATP World Tour final in Queen’s (l. to Dimitrov 7-6 in the 3rd after having a MP) before going on to clinch the fourth title of his career a week later in Eastbourne (d. Gasquet). He also reached the 4R at Wimbledon (l. to Wawrinka).
• Lopez reached three other QFs this year: Delray Beach (l. to Johnson), Madrid (l. to Nishikori) and Stuttgart (l. to Rosol).
• Lopez finished 2013 ranked inside the Top 50 for the seventh year in a row, highlighted by a first grass court title at Eastbourne (d. Simon) and the third of his career on any surface.
• Federer reached his 51st ATP World Tour SF and sixth at the Rogers Cup after extending his perfect FedEx H2H lead over David Ferrer to 15-0 with a 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 victory over the Spaniard.
• Federer posted a marathon 7-6(5), 6-7(3), 6-4 victory over Marin Cilic in two hours and 40 minutes in the 3R. The match, which finished at 11:31pm local time, saw just one break of serve with the Croat eventually blinking in the eighth game of the third set.
• Federer cruised through his opening match in 53 minutes, ousting WC Peter Polansky 6-2, 6-0.
• Federer has broken serve a tournament-high 12 times this week.
• Federer, seeded No. 2 this week, returns to the Rogers Cup for the 11th time. He has reached the final four times, winning the title in Toronto in 2004 (d. Roddick) and 2006 (d. Gasquet).
• Federer celebrated his 33rd birthday on Friday.
• Federer is looking to reach his 120th career final (79-40) and 37th at Masters 100 level (21-15). He has reached six Tour-level finals in 2014 alone.
• Federer is making his first tournament appearance since falling to Novak Djokovic in five sets in the Wimbledon final. He had been bidding to win his eighth crown at the All England Club.
• Federer clinched the first of his two titles this season and 78th overall in Dubai in February (d. World No. 2 Djokovic in SF and No. 6 Berdych in F). The Swiss moved clear of John McEnroe (77 titles) into third place on the all-time title list, behind Jimmy Connors (109) and Ivan Lendl (94).
• In Halle, Federer won his 79th title and 14th on grass, defeating Alejandro Falla in the final.
• In 2013, Federer became the oldest player to finish a season inside the Top 10 since Andre Agassi (35) in 2005. He was also the first player since Pete Sampras (1990-2001) to finish in the Top 10 for 12 years in a row. His streak of 11 straight years inside the Top 5 came to an end.
• Federer and Lopez are two of 10 players aged over 30 to win a title this year. The last 30-over winner at an ATP Masters 1000 event was David Ferrer (31) in Paris-Bercy in 2012.

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