ATP Miami: Roger Federer masters Kevin Anderson to stay on title course
The world no. 5 and three-time Miami champion Roger Federer is through to his fifth straight and 66th Masters 1000 semi-final overall following a commanding 6-0, 6-4 triumph over Kevin Anderson in an hour and 25 minutes, beating the South African for the sixth time in seven meetings.
After a great performance against Daniil Medvedev, this was another high-quality encounter for Federer who lost just 13 points in eight service games, losing serve once and racing into a 6-0, 2-0 lead after rattling off the first eight games of the match!
Anderson managed to prolong his chances in set number two although it wasn't to be for him, getting broken again at 4-4 after a thrilling game and hitting the exit door when Roger held a few minutes later to set the semi-final clash with Denis Shapovalov.
Playing for the first time since the Australian Open and that elbow injury, Anderson somehow reached the last eight but it was never enough to challenge Roger, dropping more than half of the points in his games and making that terrible start that set the tone for the rest of the encounter.
Federer broke him five times and he hit 13 winners and 12 unforced errors to control his strokes, leaving Anderson on 17 winners but also 30 errors from both wings, including a clear advantage in the shortest rallies up to four strokes to forge the win and stay in the title chase.
The South African sprayed a backhand error to give serve away in the very first game of the match, which is never a good sign, and he hit a double fault to send Roger 3-0 up. A service winner cemented that second break for Federer and broke at love in game five, closing the opener with a beautiful volley winner a few minutes later for 6-0 after 27 minutes!
Never finding the rhythm on serve, Kevin suffered a break at the start of the second set as well before pulling it back with a backhand crosscourt winner in game six to level the score at 3-3. The ninth game proved to be crucial and Roger converted the sixth break chance with a stunning backhand slice return, opening a 5-4 lead and moving over the top with three service winners in game ten.