Federer fends off Fucsovics for Dubai semi-final spot as he chases 100th title

ASSOCIATED PRESS
DUBAI
Published 28.02.2019 22:28
Updated 28.02.2019 22:32
Roger Federer of Switzerland celebrates after he defeated Marton Fucsovics of Hungry during their match at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019. (AP Photo)
Roger Federer of Switzerland celebrates after he defeated Marton Fucsovics of Hungry during their match at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019. (AP Photo)

Roger Federer is two matches away from his 100th career title after beating Marton Fucsovics 7-6 (6), 6-4 on Thursday to reach the Dubai Championships semifinals.

Federer faced two set points in the tiebreaker but Fucsovics hit two forehands into the net to let the Swiss star take control. Federer then wasted an early break in the second set but broke again for a 5-4 lead before serving out the match when Fucsovics sent a forehand return wide.

Federer is looking to become the second man in the professional era to reach 100 tour-level tournament tiles, joining Jimmy Connors, who won 109. Seven of Federer's previous 99 triumphs have come in Dubai.

He will face the winner of Borna Coric and Nikolaz Basilashvili in the semifinals.

The other semifinal will pit rising star Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece against French veteran Gael Monfils.

Tsitispas outlasted Hubert Hurkacz 7-6 (4), 6-7 (1), 6-1, while Monfils beat Ricardas Berankis 6-1, 6-7 (3), 6-2.

Both Tsitsipas and Monfils are coming off tournament wins in Europe last week and have a 1-1 head-to-head record.

"We're both serving really well," Tsitsipas said. "We have similar game style. I guess I'm a bit more aggressive than him, but he's much faster. I'm going to have to deal with all of that, be patient, play with passion as well, just wait for the opportunities to break him."

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