Federer To Face Shapovalov In Miami Open Semis

MIAMI, March 29, 2019 (by Sharada Rajagopalan)

As rain tried to play spoilsport on yet another day – and repeatedly on Thursday – men’s singles action did not disappoint in what it had to offer to viewers at the Miami Open presented by Itaú. The two quarter-final matches played finally gave way to what has been a much-awaited match-up in recent times – Denis Shapovalov taking on Roger Federer.

However, before we get around to this eventuality, let us talk about how it came to pass in the first place.

For one, Federer defeated Kevin Anderson in their quarter-final 6-0, 6-4. The 37-year-old Swiss had light-heartedly mentioned before this match, “If you beat me at Wimbledon, you have got my attention.” This became an indication of things to come as the eight-time Wimbledon champion left nothing to chance – even while he put on a masterclass display at the net – against the South African. Anderson, as befitting his position of a top-10 player, rallied around in the second set but by then it was far too late for him as Federer romped to his 65th ATP Masters 1000 semi-finals.

Shapovalov wins battle of the young guns

Moving on to Federer’s semi-final opponent, Shapovalov got the better of fellow youngster and Next Gen star Frances Tiafoe 6-7, 6-4, 6-2. The two played their hearts out and their match, like many other similar ones involving Next Gen stars, was a sign of things to come in the future that is not so far away anymore. “We’re gonna have so many of these, bro,” Shapovalov remarked to Tiafoe post-match and it could not have been better summarised.

In his post-match press conference, Shapovalov continued on with his heartfelt comments, this time reflecting about his upcoming match against Federer – a player to whom he has often been compared. The excited 19-year-old, who was born in the same year as Federer made his debut in the top-100 (1999), said, “It’s definitely a match-up I have been looking forward to, I think, my whole life. It’s going to be a dream come true to play him in such a big event over here, and the stakes are so high, semi-final match of a Masters 1000 against your idol. It’s just a dream come true.”

Hero-worship aside, an enthralling contest lies ahead with two different generations facing each other on the other side of the net making it far from ordinary.