Roger Federer and Roberto Bautista Agut are set to do battle at the Rogers Cup in Montreal. Both come into the match in good form and will be looking to progress into the last four. Federer and Bautista Agut are both comfortable playing on the hard courts of North America, with the courts being well suited to their style of play. It should be an intriguing battle with two contrasting styles.
Federer and Bautista Agut have met on six different occasions, with the Swiss coming out on top every time. All of the matches have been in the past three years, with four of them being on hard courts. The most recent of those was in Miami earlier this year with Federer winning in two tie break sets. Bautista Agut should be spurred on by the fact that he pushed Federer in their most recent clash.
Path to the quarter-finals
Being the second seed, Federer received a bye into the second round. There he came up against Canadian Peter Polansky, who had beaten fellow countryman Vasek Pospisil in the first round. This proved little more than a practice session for Federer. He breezed through 6-2 6-1 with very little resistance from Polansky. In his third round match, Federer received a much sterner test from veteran Spaniard David Ferrer. Showing his typical battling qualities, Ferrer took the opening set 6-4. However, Federer then started going through the gears and took the second 6-4. With the match level, Federer once again upped the intensity and ultimately had too much for the determined Ferrer, subjecting him to a 4-6 6-4 6-2 defeat.
Bautista Agut began his campaign against Tim Smyczek of America. Smyczek always puts in a good effort but couldn’t maintain his level against Bautista Agut. After a tight first set, the match got away from him and Bautista Agut came through 7-6 6-1. He faced Ryan Harrison in the second round. On paper, this looked like a tough test for him as Harrison was in good form of late, reaching the Atlanta final. This proved true in the first set as the American went a break up, but he let it slip and the Spaniard claimed it 7-5. The second set was more routine for Bautista Agut as he claimed it 6-2 for a comfortable path to the third round.
There he came up against Gael Monfils, who had saved four match points against Kei Nishikori in the last round, claiming a dramatic win. In the first set, Monfils showed he was still full of energy claiming it 6-4. The second was very tight and went to a tie break which the Spaniard claiming it 7-5. The Frenchman, however, kept battling and forced a deciding tie break. But Bautista Agut played some of his best tennis of the match and claimed it 7-2 to progress.
How do they match up?
This match is a typical clash of styles with the graceful Federer, who can play every shot in the book, against the terrier-like Bautista Agut. The Spaniard has great defence and will fight to the end. Federer should be well prepared for this match as he played a very similar opponent in Ferrer in the last round. The Swiss is clearly very confident in these sort of matches,, having never lost to either Ferrer or Bautista Agut. The Spaniard, on the other hand, has had no joy against Federer during his career, mainly due to his lack of any major weapons. His defence and his forehand are his strongest attributes however, on the face of it, this shouldn’t be enough to trouble Federer.
Although this head-to-head is very one sided, a competitive match is likely to be in the offing. If Bautista Agut can take the ball early and not let Federer dictate to him, then he certainly has a chance. However, this is easier said than done and Federer will be focused on picking up his first win in Montreal. Expect Bautista Agut to push the Swiss but Federer to come through in two tight sets.
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