Roger Federer is scheduled to take on Mardy Fish in the quarterfinals of the Western & Southern Open today in Cincinnati. Federer is likely to roll past the American onto the semifinals to set up an eventual final against Novak Djokovic.
Both Federer and Fish have been cruising through the competition to get to the quarterfinals, and neither has dropped a set in the tournament.
Federer beat Alex Bogomolov 6-3, 6-2, in the second round. In the third round, Federer beat Bernard Tomic 6-2, 6-4, to advance to the quarterfinals.
Fish beat Feliciano Lopez 6-2, 6-3, in the first round and Carlos Berlocq 6-3, 6-1, in the second round. He next defeated Radek Stepanek (6-3, 6-3) for the first time in his career to reach the quarters.
In their careers, Fish and Federer have played eight times, with Federer winning all but one of those matches. Fish's only win against Federer came in 2008 at the Pacific Life Open.
While Fish was able to pull the upset once, don't expect lightning to strike twice. Federer has been too good in this tournament and just has another level that Fish doesn't. The match won't be an easy victory for Federer, but it likely end in two sets.
Federer is playing angry after losing in the gold medal match at the Olympics. Channeling that anger properly should be enough to see him through the quarterfinals and past Mardy Fish. Federer has channeled the frustration of critics using his age to predict his demise.
A win at Wimbledon temporarily quieted those critics, but if Federer were to lose to Fish, the noise would return twice as loud. The current No. 1 understands this and knows that he can't afford to lose at this point. For Federer, winning has become much a thing of pride.
Federer won't get the a rematch of the Olympic final against Andy Murray, who was knocked out in the third round. Instead, Federer should play Djokovic in a matchup of the two top-ranked players in the world.