Saturday is semi finals day at Stuttgart’s MercedesCup and the offer of world class players still in contention is big. The day kicks off at 11.30 with the last doubles semi final between Robert Lindstedt (SWE) and Marcin Matkowski (POL) against the Hungarian-German double Marton Fucsovics and Mischa Zverev.
At 2 pm the singles semis start with defending champion Lucas Pouille (FRA/2) against Canadian Milos Raonic (7), who leads their head-to-head 2-0. Both wins came 2016 in Australia. Raonic didn’t even drop a set in Brisbane and at the Australian Open.
At 4 pm the tennis world will turn their eyes towards Stuttgart. As Roger Federer (SUI/1) takes on Nick Kyrgios (AUS/4), the world’s number 1 spot in the ATP Tour rankings is on the line. Looking at their duels to date the match seems wide open as both players were able to win one match against each other. Remarkable: both matches in Madrid (2015/ win Kyrgios) and Miami (2017/win Federer) went the distance with all six sets played decided in the tie-break.
Federer, who would recapture the top spot in the world from Rafael Nadal knows how hard it will be to achieve his goal: “It’s very important that I found my rhythm in the quarters for my match against Kyrgios.” The rallies will be short, especially at Kyrgios’ serve. But Federer feels ready for the task: “I had no lapses in the quarter finals which came pretty surprising, given that I took a three months break.” And what about the battle for number 1? “I think it’s easier here for me than against Haase in Rotterdam. Maybe because I have already experienced this situation already this year. Anyway, it will be a close affair, but in the end I’ll try to give my best. If it works out – fine. If not, well, it’s not the end of the world either.”