Rogers Cup semis photo diary: Kiefer v Simon
Originally published on: 26/02/10 14:21
Nicolas Kiefer proved yesterday that, at 31, his tennis career is not over the hill just yet, as he reached a Masters Series final at the 74th time of asking.
Countryman Rainer Schuettler no doubt agrees, after reaching his first Wimbledon semi-final at the age of 32 this year, leaving countless numbers of players who would take offence to being referred to as being in their ‘mid-twenties’.
Facing the German was Gilles Simon, the 23-year-old Frenchman who upset the proper order of things earlier in the week when he ousted world No.1 Roger Federer in the second round – and in doing so paid a significant blow to the bulletproof safety of that title.
So Simon is no mug. He was, it must be said, exhausted – a three-set battle of attrition against fellow young gun Marin Cilic in the quarter-finals made sure of that. Kiefer, in contrast, had simply blitzed James Blake 6-1 6-2 with a virtuoso display.
The result? A gruelling semi-final that lasted just under three hours.
“It was a very tough match. It’s not easy to play against him because we both have a similar style. He was on a run because he won in Indianapolis (last week), he had some big wins here, and all I could do was fight for every ball,” said Kiefer.
Both stumbled through the match, which featured 101 unforced errors. But while Simon only converted three of his 13 break-point opportunities, Kiefer produced 50 winners and served 12 aces on his way to the 6-7(4) 6-3 7-6(5).
The two played just one point before the match was interrupted by a short rain delay. Simon went on to take the first set in a tiebreaker.
Kiefer was a different prospect during the second set, which he won with ease as Simon’s fatigue kicked in. Kiefer then found himself fending off a resurgent Simon to win the third in a tie-break and book his spot in Sunday’s final.
See what our snapper made of the day’s semifinal action here.