FEDERER BREEZES INTO MIAMI OPEN QUARTERFINALS FOR RECORD ELEVENTH TIME
By Tucker Verdi
Miami Gardens, FL — Before a packed crowd on Stadium Court on a Wednesday afternoon, Roger Federer advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2019 Miami Open presented by Itaú by way of a 6-4, 6-2 win over No. 13 seed Daniil Medvedev. The 37-year-old former World No. 1 put on a clinic against his young Russian opponent, moving by him in a mere 61 minutes.
“It was a close first set,” Federer said on court after the match. “We both had our small chances and I was able to take them. And sometimes margins are so slim it’s maybe a wrong mistake or a bit of luck here and there but I think I played the right way. I really played good the entire time.”
After exchanging holds to start the match, Federer made his move at 4-all, getting two break points on Medvedev’s serve and converting on the first opportunity for a chance to serve for the set. The Swiss tactician would fall down 0-40, however, and have to fend off three break points that — if converted — would get them back on serve. Federer dismissed all three break points and fought his way back to get a set point, punctuating the set with a classic booming serve that Medvedev returned wide with a backhand.
“Well, I think it was big for me… of course instead of 5-all and momentum his way, at 6-4 he probably sits down frustrated that he missed his chances,” Federer explained about his last service game. “Obviously that was a key game right there.”
The 20-time Grand Slam champion showed no patience in the second set, breaking Medvedev thanks to a couple of inexplicable misses on a forehand and a volley that should have been points for the Russian. From there, Federer made it look easy, breaking the 23-year-old a third time. Up a set and two breaks, the indomitable maestro booked his spot in the Miami Open quarters for the eleventh time when a Medvedev forehand went long.
Federer is in search of his fourth Miami Open singles title, and 101st ATP title overall. He is now through to his eleventh quarterfinal in Miami — one more than Andre Agassi and a record on the men’s side. He will face No. 6 seed Kevin Anderson in that quarterfinal match tomorrow.
The 2005, 2006, and 2017 men’s singles champion in Miami owns a 5-1 head-to-head record over Anderson — the one loss coming at Wimbledon last year when the South African came from two-sets-to-love down to shock Federer in the quarterfinals. Asked about the matchup, Federer was excited to see the big man playing.
“I’m happy he’s back playing again,” Federer said in reference to Anderson’s reason sidelining due to an elbow injury. “He’s had a great few years now on the tour, I’m really happy for him. He beat me at Wimbledon last year, I played him again at the [ATP Tour Finals], so I’m really looking forward to playing against him.”