By Phoebe Ho
TORONTO, Aug. 9 (Xinhua) -- Roger Federer cruised into the Rogers Cup final after dispatching Spain's Feliciano Lopez in two straight sets of 6-3, 6-4 Saturday night, setting off an electric crowd and a spectacular display of fireworks.
Federer is now set to clash with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France after the No. 13 seed defeated Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov earlier in the day.
The 17-time Grand Slam champion wasted no time to consolidate his victory against Lopez, who had defeated the sixth-seeded Milos Raonic the day before to get into the semis. But the 82-minute match proved to be an uphill battle for the Spaniard, who stood no chance against Federer's tour de force performance.
"Yeah, I think I played extremely well in the first set, really was able to make Feliciano overserve, overhit a little bit, as well, and make him feel the pressure from the baseline," said Federer.
Out-rallied by Federer, Lopez fell back on his serves, going all out on his second serve to rack up six double-faults in the first set, and a total of 33 unforced errors in the match.
Lopez's third ace in his second service game opened up an opportunity to tie the set at 2-all, but Federer wouldn't have any of it. Lopez ended up fending off six breakpoints before finally giving the two-time Rogers Cup champion a 3-1 lead.
The set was pretty much over for Lopez from there on out. Federer took full control of the set to close it out in just 45 minutes.
The second set followed a similar pattern, with Federer claiming an early 2-0 lead and Lopez playing catch up. The Spaniard started to mix it up towards the end of the set to cut down his double-faults and earned himself some extra points. But Federer eventually sealed his victory with his 13th ace of the match.
"Second set probably wasn't as good in quality but I got the break early. I think he was probably mentally also a bit tired this week. He's played a lot of good guys in the spell of a short period of time," said Federer. "Played one more match than I did and back-to-back three-setters the last couple of nights. I think he was probably feeling it there."
He will be facing the 13th-seeded Tsonga, who knocked off three Top 10 opponents this week. Though Federer has a bit of an edge on the Frenchman, leading 11-4 in their head-to-head matches, he won't be underestimating his opponent.
"I think he just can overpower guys, serve up a storm and then, you know, play really aggressive with his forehand and also be solid in his backhand. You think you're in a safe place sometimes in the rally, and he takes one step and, you know, just hits it and the point is over," said Federer. "He's one of the few guys besides Stan and other guys who are not the Big 4 sort of thing who can do that. That's why he's been in the top 10 for so long."