After hot shot, and hot start, Federer holds off Anderson's late push

After hot shot, and hot start, Federer holds off Anderson's late push

In a rematch of last year's Wimbledon five-setter, the 37-year-old win 6-0, 6-4 to reach the Miami Open final.

Roger Federer held off a second-set revival from Kevin Anderson in the quarterfinals of the Miami Open on Thursday night, avenging his Wimbledon loss to the South African last summer.

Federer came out on absolute fire, winning the first eight games of the match. In breaking the big-serving Anderson in his first four service games, Federer did something Anderson's first three opponents in Miami couldn’t do combined. Anderson had held 34 of his 37 service games of the tournament.

Things tightened up from there, though, as the No. 6-seeded Anderson held serve to get on the board, and he broke back a few games later to even the second set at 3-all.

“He’s a great fighter and a true professional,” Federer said of Anderson after the match. “Regardless of the score, he’s going to keep going for it and keep believing—you’ve got to cross the finish line against him, you can’t just wait for the clock to run down. And he did just that, he came out swinging."

After a pair of holds for 4-all, the No. 4-seeded Federer broke one last time—on his sixth break point of a lengthy game—to go up 5-4, then served it out at love to clinch victory after an hour and 25 minutes.

“He got me—he broke me back with four clean winners and then had a great game after that, and it gets you thinking," said Federer. "So it was difficult. It was a tough game at 4-all to break him again—I needed a few break points to come through—but it was definitely a relief to make it in two after that great first set.”

It was Federer’s sixth win in seven career meetings against Anderson, all of the victories coming in straight sets, His only loss was the aforementioned Wimbledon defeat, a 2-6, 6-7 (5), 7-5, 6-4, 13-11 marathon in the quarterfinals—when Federer had match point in the third set.

Federer is now through to his seventh Miami Open semifinal; he’s 4-2 in that stage. It's also his 66th career Masters 1000 semifinal; he’s 49-16 thus far.

Up next for the Swiss will be No. 20 seed Denis Shapovalov, who rallied from a set down to beat No. 28 seed Frances Tiafoe, 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-2. Shapovalov ripped 36 winners, including 19 off the forehand, to outlast the American after two hours and 15 minutes on the Grandstand.

“He’s a great talent,” the Swiss said of the Canadian. “I like him a lot. He’s a great shotmaker. Nice guy on top of it, too, and I’m really happy for him—and Felix—for making such a run here in Miami.

Federer and Shapovalov will be playing against each other for the first time.

“I can’t wait to play against him," said Federer. "I’ve practiced with him some, and I’ve been highly impressed. And of course I saw his match against Rafa where he crushed forehand winner after forehand winner down the line—that was impressive. He’s got another run going here, and it’s going to be hard to stop him.”