Semifinal day is here at the Roger’s Cup and most of the names in today’s lineup are far different from those touted to be here at this stage of the tournament. If there’s ever been a Master’s tournament in recent memory that screamed the rise of the next gen, this is it. Indeed, this tournament is guaranteed to provide something of a generational battle in the finals as two thirty-somethings battle each other on one side, while a pair of young upstarts fight for a shot at the silverware on finals day.
Robin Haase vs Roger Federer
It is rare to call a match involving Roger Federer the warm up match, but that’s exactly what this contest is, simply because of the opponent. Robin Haase is a thirty year old Dutch with a big serve and considerable talent that has gone largely unrealized throughout his career. These two have only ever met once before and that was in Davis Cup in 2012. Federer won that one in three straight sets. However, the Swiss hasn’t played his best at this tournament and Haase is coming into this contest having dispatched some pretty solid competition, including Dimitrov. Make no mistake, the Dutchman is a dangerous threat. He’ll be up against it though. Federer might not be playing his best, but the winning habit is a hard one to break.
Federer in two tiebreak sets
Alexander Zverev vs Denis Shapovalov
And here we have the main event. These two are part of a group of exciting young stars trying to make their mark – or in this case make an even bigger mark – on the ATP tour. Zverev has been enjoying a phenomenal year that has seen him capture four tour titles, including one Masters – his first. He knows how to go the distance in these tournaments now, so expect him to give it all he’s got to get a shot at a second title. This tournament is essentially Shapovalov’s introduction to the tour or is it the tour’s introduction to Shapovalov. He has been brilliant. His achievements are only made the more sweeter because of his age and what he was famous for before – smashing a tennis ball into an umpire’s eye. He’s come a long way from that learning experience and I expect him to give his very best in this match. However, I don’t think it’ll be enough. Zverev is also young, confident and hungry. He’s also not plagued by the pressures of accomplishment and age. Most importantly, I do think Zverev’s game is a bit more developed at this point than Shapovalov’s. That could change in the future but for now, advantage Zverev.
Zverev in three sets.