Roger Federer showed great progress during his second appearance at this year’s MercedesCup at Stuttgart’s Weissenhof. Against Guido Pella from Argentina, the Swiss played irresistible grass tennis to book his second appearance in a MercedesCup final after 2016 (lost to Dominic Thiem from Austria).
After the partly rocky start against Germany’s Mischa Zverev in the second round, Federer seemed to have shaken off the dust from his game. Then again, Pella totally played into Federer’s hands. Already after the match against Zverev, Federer uttered the wish for an opponent who would give him more rhythm in the next round. A wish which was granted by Pella, a base line player. The “Maestro” on the other hand showed magical hits from the base line, with his serve and at the net, mixing in some amazing stopps to top it all off.
While Federer was more or less untouchable on serve, he converted the chances he got with Pella serving, taking the match 6-4, 6-4.
Federer was happy after the match: “Today, I had good control, served well and didn’t give him a lot of chances, except for my last service game.” His recipe for success? „After the breaks I tried to keep the rallies short to give him no rhythm. That went well, also because the grass here is so fast.”
His opponent in the semis is Australian Nick Kyrgios (4) who eliminated Spaniard Feliciano Lopez (8) in three sets 6-4, 3-6, 6-2. In the past, Kyrgios always proved to be a tough task, their head-to-head tied at 1-1. In 2015, Kyrgios beat Federer in Madrid, in 2017 Federer took revenge in Miami. Remarkably, both matches went the distance and all six sets had to be decided in the tie-break.