Roger Federer superb on serve as he reaches third Masters 1000 Series final of 2017 in Montreal

Hannah Wilks in ATP 12 Aug 2017
  • Roger Federer beat Robin Haase 6-3, 7-6(5) to reach the Canada Masters final in Montreal
  • Federer will face Alexander Zverev or Denis Shapovalov in Sunday's Rogers Cup final
  • Watch and bet on tennis live from Montreal at bet365 > live streaming > tennis
Roger Federer celebrates victory over Robin Haase in the semifinals of the Canada Masters (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

Roger Federer remains unbeaten in Grand Slam and Masters 1000 Series matches in 2017 after defeating Robin Haase to reach the final of the Canada Masters in Montreal.

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Wimbledon and Australian Open champion Roger Federer awaits either Alexander Zverev or Denis Shapovalov in Sunday’s Rogers Cup final after defeating surprise semifinalist Robin Haase 6-3, 7-6(5) on Saturday.

Federer had dropped a set to David Ferrer earlier in the tournament and looked a little scratchy at times in his performance against Roberto Bautista Agut, but a sprinkling of forehand errors and one break of serve conceded were the only minor criticisms to be made of his performance against Haase. 

The start of the match was slightly delayed by rain but it began only a few minutes late with Federer bidding for his sixteenth straight match victory, having last lost to Tommy Haas in Stuttgart before winning titles in Halle and Wimbledon. World no. 52 Haase, playing his first Masters 1000 Series semifinal at the age of 30, got off to a nervous start after Federer held to love, swiftly going down 0-40 after Federer punished an insufficiently clinical approach shot with an exceptional flicked defensive backhand. The Dutchman fended off four break points, with Federer striking loose forehand errors on two of them, but set up a fifth with an inside-out forehand error of his own and dropped serve as his attempted serve and volley ended in the net. 

Robin Haase (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
Federer was still finding his range on the forehand, though, and a cluster of errors saw him broken straight back for 1-2. It was a lifeline for Haase, but he was unable to grasp on to it. If Federer’s forehand was misfiring, his backhand was superb in the early stages and he flicked another brilliant winner on the run for an immediate 0-15 foothold on Haase’s serve, earning break point after an aggressive ploy forced Haase to attempt a defensive lob that drifted long. Haase buried a short attacking forehand in the net to give up the break and this time Federer consolidated to love to move ahead 4-1. 

Haase got his first service hold on the board for 2-4, but Federer was in firm control of the set and wrapped it up 6-3 with an ace in 27 minutes. 

Seemingly deciding to just go for every ball, Haase opened the second set with a storming hold and it would prove to be much more competitive. Haase even managed to show a little personality that won over some of the rabidly pro-Federer crowd, one of whom shouted out a ‘Let’s go, Roger!’ as Haase was about to serve on game point at 1-1. The Dutchman stopped his service preparation and acerbically corrected the fan: ‘My name is Robin.’

The crowd loved it and it may have relaxed Haase a little, because he played an excellent second set on his own serve even while he was struggling to get any traction on Federer’s. Federer had a look at 30-30 on Haase’s serve at 3-3, but missed a forehand swing volley, badly mistiming it into the net, and Haase held even after trying the same poor drop shot on consecutive points. Haase won his first – and only – point of the set on the Federer serve at 3-4, but it availed him nothing and the pressure continued to mount. Haase came up with a brilliant hold to love at 4-4, hitting back-to-back aces for 40-0 and then a crisp backhand winner; Federer riposted with his own hold to love. Federer won a reflex net exchange to get to deuce on Haase’s serve at 5-5, but the Dutchman kept him from getting to break point with excellent serving and sealed the game with an ace down the T to guarantee himself at least a tie break. 

Federer duly held to love, then opened the tie break with an immediate mini break after Haase got a backhand all wrong, swiftly opening up a 3-0 lead then going up 4-1 after another backhand error from Haase. Surprisingly, Federer then missed a backhand for 2-4 and Haase got back on serve after another error, then found two big serves to move ahead 5-4. But Federer stopped the rot with a strong overhead to end a gallant defense from Haase for 5-5, then hit a deep winning second serve to give himself a first match point and converted as Haase framed a forehand.  

It’s Federer’s first Canada Masters final since 2014, when he lost to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in Toronto, and his first in Montreal for a decade, having finished runner-up to Novak Djokovic in 2007. The Swiss star will play for his ninety-fourth ATP World Tour title on Sunday, which would bring him level with Ivan Lendl for the second most titles in the Open Era (behind only Jimmy Connors with 109). Federer has also tied Nadal for the most Masters 1000 Series finals reached with 45, one ahead of Djokovic, and is trying to win three Masters 1000 Series titles in the same year for the first time since 2012. 

He will face either Alexander Zverev, who is trying to reach his second Masters 1000 Series final after claiming the title in Rome earlier this year, or Canadian sensation Denis Shapovalov in Sunday’s final.

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Roger Federer superb on serve as he reaches third Masters 1000 Series final of 2017 in Montreal

With a sixteenth straight match win, this one over Robin Haase in straight sets, Roger Federer reached the final of the Canada Masters and awaits Alexander Zverev or Denis Shapovalov

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