Aggressive Federer punches ticket to Montreal semis

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Second-seeded Roger Federer continued his mastery over 12th-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain with a 6-4, 6-4 victory.

In Saturday's semifinals, the 36-year-old Swiss will face unseeded Dutchman Robin Haase, a 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 victor over Diego Schwartzman of Argentina. Federer posted his seventh consecutive win over the Spaniard and boosted his season record to 34-2. "I was more committed and a step further in, adjusting my position slightly realizing the ball does fly a lot", Federer was quoted as saying on the ATP World Tour's Web site.

Although the Dutchman surprisingly broke back, Federer immediately restored his two-game cushion before holding to love for the second time in three attempts.

He is 1-0 against Haase - a straight-sets win in Davis Cup play in 2012.

Federer's chances of winning another title this season were given a boost when top seed Rafael Nadal was upset by world No. 143 Denis Shapovalov of Canada on Thursday night. Shapovalov, who needed a wild card to gain entry into the tournament, takes on Frenchman Adrian Mannarino later in the day. Shapovalov also upset former US Open victor Juan Martin Del Potro in the second round. "But, as I have practiced with him quite a bit, maybe I am better prepared than if I would have never hit with him before".

The Swiss maestro, who recently clinched his 19th Grand Slam title at Wimbledon, eased past Bautista Agut 6-4, 6-4 in a one-sided quarter-final clash that lasted one hour and eight minutes. "I believe it's because I was more aggressive coming to the net". Obviously the rain delay helped me.

"I wasn't the player I was before my injury", Haase said.

Federer grabbed a second service break late in the third set to effectively seal the victory and improve to 17-0 lifetime against the 35-year-old Spaniard.

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