(Reuters) – Roger Federer gained a measure of revenge against Wimbledon nemesis Kevin Anderson, beating the South African 6-0 6-4 at the Miami Open on Thursday to set up a mouthwatering semi-final against a player barely half his age.
Federer will have little time to rest his 37-year-old legs before his clash against 19-year-old Denis Shapovalov, the highly regarded Canadian talent tipped for future Grand Slam success.
Twentieth seed Shapovalov won his battle of ‘Next Gen’ hustlers 6-7(5) 6-4 6-2 against American Frances Tiafoe.
Shapovalov is one of two Canadian teenagers in the semis, with 18-year-old Felix Auger-Aliassime to play defending champion John Isner in the other.
Federer has won 100 career titles, 100 more than Shapovalov, and was looking forward to the pair’s first match-up.
“He’s one of the big shotmakers in the game. I love his forehand,” Federer said.
The Swiss raced through the first set against Anderson, the man who beat him in a quarter-final marathon at Wimbledon last year.
Anderson took nine games to get on the board but eventually found his groove and broke back with a series of return winners to level at 3-3 in the second set.
Federer struck the decisive blow at 4-4, however, winning a marathon game of 22 points and clinching the break with a fortuitous backhand return down the line.
“I hit it late and that’s why it went short,” he said of the shot. “That’s not what I wanted to do but maybe what it took. I got a bit lucky there at the end.”
(Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Ian Ransom)