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Roger one step away from landmark 80th at Rogers

Roger Federer said Jo-Wilfried Tsonga would be on a high after his series of upsets in Toronto.

By: Reuters | Toronto |
Updated: August 11, 2014 1:42:10 pm
Roger Federer reaches to return the ball against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga during the Rogers Cup Men's tennis tournament final. (Source: AP) Roger Federer reaches to return the ball against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga during the Rogers Cup Men’s tennis tournament final. (Source: AP)

Roger Federer eased into the final of the Rogers Cup with a 6-3 6-4 win over Spain’s Feliciano Lopez on Saturday, putting the Swiss maestro on the brink of a landmark 80th career title.

Standing between Federer and another trophy is Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who claimed his third straight upset by dispatching seventh-seeded Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov 6-4 6-3.

After knocking off world number one Novak Djokovic in the third round, twice champion Andy Murray in the quarters and Dimitrov in the semi-finals, the powerful Frenchman will need to produce one more upset to deny Federer a third Canadian title. It will be Federer’s 120th career final while Tsonga will be playing for a title for the 20th time.

Federer said Tsonga would be on a high after his series of upsets in Toronto.

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“I think it was a matter of time that he got it all together again, especially in terms of confidence,” said the second seeded Swiss, who is looking for his third title of the season. So for him to beat Murray and Djokovic… it’s a really good effort for him and it’s going to give him loads of confidence going into the finals.

Imperious Form

Federer, who celebrated his 33rd birthday on Friday, was in imperious form, dropping just four points on his serve in taking the opening set.

The 17-time grand slam winner kept up the pressure in the second with a break to open the set and was never seriously challenged, running his record against Lopez to 11-0.

“I think I played extremely well in the first set and was able to make Feliciano probably over-serve and over-hit a little bit and make him feel the pressure from the baseline,” said Federer.

“Second set probably wasn’t as good in quality but I got the break early.”

A Little Reward

Dimitrov had lost all three head-to-head meetings with Tsonga but with three titles under his belt this season stepped onto a sunny centre court as the favorite. The Bulgarian traded shots with the muscular Frenchman in a tight opening set but could not convert any of his four break opportunities.

Tsonga showed his stomach for the fight from the opening serve and his determination was rewarded with the only break of the first set, going up 5-4 then holding serve for a 1-0 lead. The second set was not as close, Tsonga breaking in the third game to take control and then again to clinch the match, raising his fist into the air and shadow boxing his way out to centre court where he acknowledged the crowd.

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