Federer earns 800th victory
Roger Federer earned his 800th victory by beating Juan Monaco of Argentina 6-3, 7-5 Friday to reach the semifinals of the Paris Masters, while top-ranked Novak Djokovic pulled out with a shoulder injury.
Federer will next play Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic, who edged Andy Murray of Britain 4-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4 in a match that lasted more than three hours.
Djokovic pulled out ahead of his quarterfinal against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France, saying a nagging shoulder injury got worse after his third-round comeback win against fellow Serb Viktor Troicki on Thursday.
Federer hit seven aces and 25 winners compared to only eight for Monaco.
”I knew going in today that this could be something special, something I could remember,” the third-seeded Swiss said. ”So it’s just another win, but it’s a special one nevertheless, because 800 is definitely a big number.”
Federer won five straight games to rally from a 3-1 deficit and took the first set when Monaco netted a backhand.
The 16-time Grand Slam champion broke for a 6-5 lead in the final set when Monaco made a forehand error, winning the match with an ace.
Earlier, Berdych saved 15 break points to end Murray’s 17-match winning streak.
”It was really one of the best of three-set matches I played,” Berdych said. ”It was so close … it could go the other way. We could be finished after two sets maybe.”
Murray broke Berdych in the seventh game and took the first set with a crosscourt forehand winner.
The second-seeded Briton rallied from a 5-2 deficit in the second to force a tiebreaker but Berdych hit a forehand winner to level at one set apiece.
In the final set, Berdych broke for a 5-4 lead when Murray double-faulted and held on to clinch victory.
”You obviously have to do a lot of running at times. He kind of dictates what happens,” Murray said. ”At the end, I was just fighting.”