(August 12, 2017) Roger Federer reached his sixth Rogers Cup final on Saturday with a 6-3, 7-6(5) win over No. 52 in the world, Dutchman Robin Haase. It’s his 11th straight victory at a Masters Series event.
Federer will be attempting to win his 27th Masters title and 94th career tournament on Sunday. Should he do it, he would tie Ivan Lendl for second place on the all-time list for tournament wins, behind Jimmy Connors with 109.
“I have reached levels that I never thought I would be able to reach, winning so many titles,” Federer said to media. “Each title you can add is like a thrill. I am playing tennis to try to win titles. I always said that the ranking, if you’re not No. 1 in the world, doesn’t count really. It’s secondary. Now I’m lucky because both are in sight.
“Lendl is a legend of tennis. He reached incredible records. He was extremely consistent. He won many titles. It’s fantastic and cool that I’m able to reach his level.”
On the line for the 36-year-old Swiss is not just a third Rogers Cup title, but a chance to be one of the top two seeds at the US Open.
Joining Federer in the final will be 20-year-old Alexander Zverev. The German stopped the Cinderella run of 18-year-old Canadian Wildcard Denis Shapovalov 6-4, 7-5. Not only did he have to battle his opponent but the Canadian crowd.
“I felt like the crowd and the tournament, the whole city of Montreal, was really supporting him all the way,” said Zverev. It was an amazing story. I think this is just the beginning of a very long story. Hopefully he can continue doing what he’s doing.
“But on the other hand I will say don’t expect him to win US Open in the next few months coming up. He still needs some time. This is I think the best tennis he played in his life. For him to play this level consistently, it might take him, you know, another two to three years.
“But the other hand he has shown what level he has in himself and what talent that he is. It’s going to be amazing watching him and playing against him.”
Zverev made the wildcard run and at times overpowered him. The German played the crucial points better.
The Canadian reached the semifinals after upset victories over Juan Martin Del Potro in the second round and Rafael Nadal in the third round.
With his performance this week, Denis will rise from 143 to around 67 in the ATP World Tour rankings. Also he’ll become the No. 2 Canadian behind Milos Raonic.
“I mean, it’s a huge jump from 144 to 67,” he said. “My whole life has changed in the past five days. It’s crazy how it is. I mean, I go from being not known to, you know, being so known in the tennis world, in Canada in general. It’s going to be a little bit of a change to me. I’m going to have to adapt.
“But that doesn’t change things. Still have to work really hard. Yeah, just keep working hard every day.”
“It’s a dream come true for me this week.”
Zverev will now play in his second Masters Series final this year. He won the Rome title back in May.
This will be Federer’s sixth final of 2017. He is 5-0 in finals this season. Federer is 35-2 on the year, perfect at major tournaments and Masters Series events.
Zverev, who won the Citi Open last weekend is now on a nine-match win-streak, a 10-match streak in Masters Series events. He has also reached his sixth final this year. He has 45 wins on the year and is in the Top Ten.
He has also qualified for the NetGen ATP finals in to be held November 7-1 Milan. More importantly, he is third in the Race to London for the year end ATP World Tour Finals.
“It’s a huge opportunity for them Federer said of his potential opponents. “It’s exciting. To have a player at 18 or 20 years old in the finals of a Masters 1000 is not something we’ve seen very often. Very rarely, except maybe when Andy (Murray), Novak (Djokoivc) and Rafa (Nadal) were coming up. They were such great teenagers that we maybe saw it more often. Not even I probably achieved finals of a Masters 1000 at that age. It’s very exciting for tennis.”
“Well, I think he’s definitely the favorite,” Zverev said of the 19-time major champion. He’s been playing amazing tennis. He pretty much won every single big tournament he played this year. I feel like I’m playing well, so I know that I have to serve a lot better tomorrow than I did today. That was I think the thing that I struggled the most with today.
“But, you know, I played in five finals this year. I won four. The one that I lost was against Roger. There’s a reason for it. I’m happy to be in the final. I’ll try to enjoy as much as I can.”
Federer leads the head-to-head series 2-1
Federer had considered skipping the event. “I’m very happy that I’ve made it here,” he said.
“It was a good decision for me. If I would have known I would have gone to the finals, I would have said ‘yes’ right away. Sometimes you’ve just got to wait and see how you feel.
“I’m happy, most happy that I’m actually really healthy going into the finals. I haven’t wasted too much energy. I’ve been able to keep points short. I’ve been really clean at net. I think my concentration and just my playing has gone up a notch. I’m just playing better.
“So I’m very excited for the finals tomorrow.”