Aggressive Federer cruises to semi-finals in Montreal
World number 3 Federer, who faces Dutchman Robin Haase in the last four, was never seriously pushed by Spain's Bautista Agut.
LONDON - With world number two Rafael Nadal eliminated on Thursday by 18-year-old Canadian Denis Shapovalov and world number one Andy Murray sidelined by a rib injury, Federer has an opportunity to regain his world number one ranking.
He would need to win the Rogers Cup and have an equal or better finish than Nadal at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati next week to become the world number one on 21 August.
"Now that Rafa is out I know I can make big strides, especially if I was to go further than the semis here. But it's all connected to great play," said the Australian Open and Wimbledon champion.
In the other quarter-finals, Shapovalov came from a set down to beat Adrian Mannarino of France 2-6 6-3 6-4, and Germany's Alexander Zverev dismissed South Africa's Kevin Anderson in straight sets, 7-5 6-4.
Earlier, Haase recovered to defeat Argentine Diego Schwartzman 4-6 6-3 6-3 in their quarter-final.