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Miami Open 2019, Semi-Finals: Roger Federer vs Denis Shapovalov, Preview and Prediction

ANALYST
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549   //    29 Mar 2019, 16:29 IST

Miami Open 2019 - Day 11
Miami Open 2019 - Day 11

Roger Federer takes on Denis Shapovalov in a mouth-watering inter-generational clash in the second semi-final of the 2019 Miami Open. This will be the first meeting between the former world number one and the player tipped to be the world number one in the not-so-distant future.

After the withdrawal of Rafael Nadal and the surprise early exit of Novak Djokovic, Federer has been the sole flag-bearer of the dominant triumvirate of modern tennis in this tournament. Based on current form, he is the overwhelming favourite to lift a fourth title at Miami.

He began the tournament shakily by losing the very first set he played here, to Radu Albot. But he has tightened his game since then, and has not been taken to a third set in the last three matches.

He was especially ruthless against the sixth seed Kevin Anderson, reminding the whole tennis world that the unexpected loss to the South African at last year’s Wimbledon Championships was nothing but an aberration.

He dominated the match from the word go and broke the South African three times in the first set to hand him a humiliating bagel. Though the big-serving Anderson became a bit more competitive in the second set, Federer was never in any serious danger of handing over the advantage.

So dominant was Federer on his own serve that he gave away only thirteen points, while winning a whopping thirty-nine points on Anderson’s serve.

Miami Open 2019 - Day 11
Miami Open 2019 - Day 11

His young semi-final opponent, on the other hand, has not had the going that easy in this tournament so far. Three of his four matches have been decided in a third set. But to his credit, he showed a lot of character in those matches, having lost the first set on all three occasions.

In his quarter-final match against Frances Tiafoe, he lost the first set in the tie-break, but came back strongly to win the next two sets. He broke the American four times, while losing his serve only once. But if he is to be competitive against Federer, he will have to raise his game a notch, especially on his serve.

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The only factor that may go against the Swiss is that he will not get much rest between his quarter-final and semi-final matches. However, that said, he should still have enough in the tank to see off the young Canadian.

Prediction: Roger Federer to win in 3 Sets

 

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