Canas shadow looms for Federer at French Open

4th June 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, June 4, 2007 (AFP) - Roger Federer moved closer to an elusive French Open title on Sunday but then saw the familiar figure of Guillermo Canas, against whom he's lost twice this year, approaching in his rear-view mirror.

PARIS, June 4, 2007 (AFP) - Roger Federer moved closer to an elusive French Open title on Sunday but then saw the familiar figure of Guillermo Canas, against whom he's lost twice this year, approaching in his rear-view mirror.

Federer enjoyed a 7-6 (7/3), 6-4, 6-4 victory over Russia's Mikhail Youzhny to reach the quarter-finals where he will take on Spain's Tommy Robredo.

If he gets through that, he could face Canas who crowned his comeback from a 15-month drugs suspension with back-to-back Masters wins over the world number one in Indian Wells and Miami in March.

Canas saw off fellow Argentinian Juan Monaco to reach his third Roland Garros quarter-finals where he will face Nikolay Davydenko.

On Sunday, it was a far from vintage Federer on display on Court Philippe Chatrier as the top seed continued his campaign to add the French Open to his 10-title Grand Slam collection.

Victory over Youzhny was Federer's 10th in 10 meetings with the 24-year-old Russian, but he wasn't at his best sending down an uncharacteristic 41 unforced errors.

He also wobbled at the climax of the tie when he needed three match points to secure victory. 

"It was tough but I stayed calm and I was happy to get through," said the world number one after a win which equalled John McEnroe's record of 11 successive Grand Slam matches won in straight sets.

"Maybe it's because we have similar games. Maybe I hit my forehand better,  have more firepower, more confidence.

"I didn't start well today but I got in the groove and I was pretty rock solid."

Federer will start as overwhelming favourite to beat ninth seed Robredo, who made the quarter-finals for the third time with a 6-2, 7-5, 6-1 win over Italy's Filippo Volandri.

He has won all seven times the two have met, including twice on clay, with the Spaniard only managing to take one set off the Swiss and that was five years ago in Vienna.

They also met at the same stage at the Australian Open in January where Federer again won in straight sets.

"I have beaten him in clay and in Rome (in 2003) it was pretty easy," said Federer.

"I probably have more variety but I've noticed that his game has improved over the last year or so."

The 25-year-old Robredo said he will have to be at the peak of his powers to derail Federer in Tuesday's last eight clash.

"I'm playing the best player in the world so I will have to think about my game plan and my tactics," he said.

"I'll have to pull out all the stops and be 100-percent fit to play the match which will be quite physical."

Canas, the 19th seed, beat Monaco 6-0, 6-4, 6-2 to reach the last eight for the third time.

The 29-year-old Argentinian, playing his first Grand Slam for two years because of his drugs ban, will face Russian fourth seed Nikolay Davydenko who put out David Nalbandian of Argentina, the 15th seed, 6-3, 7-6 (7/1), 3-6, 7-6 (7/2).

"I believe I am playing the best tennis of my career," said Canas who slumped to 514 in the world during his suspension but now stands at 22.

Defending champion Rafael Nadal plays his fourth round match against Australia's Lleyton Hewitt on Monday.


Copyright AFP

SUbject: French news

0 Comments To This Article