ROGER Federer survived a marathon quarter-final to defeat Gilles Simon 7-6 (7-1), 4-6, 6-4 at the Swiss Indoors tennis tournament in Basel.The 37-year-old Swiss has won his hometown event eight times and is now one step away from retaining his crown and collecting a 99th career title after he advanced to the semi-finals.
However, it wasn’t a smooth ride for the 20-time grand slam winner as he dropped his serve five times and was only 59 percent accurate on his usually sharp first delivery.
Federer fought back from 5-2 down in the first set to force a tie-break, where he began to take control of the match as he converted seven of eight points to snatch the lead on the hour mark.
There were five breaks of serve in the second set with three of those claimed by Simon as the Frenchman rallied to even outthe scoreboard.
It looked as though Simon’s comeback was going to be short-lived as Federer sprinted to a 4-1 advantage in the deciding set.
Good lord this errors from Federer. Almost finding the first row of the stands.
Tch tch. Federer broken at love, what a terrible game.
Roger Federer had a rough old time at his home tournament.Source:AP
But Federer lost his edge once again after Simon broke en route to squaring the decider at 4-4.
Federer put the pressure on Simon’s serve after battling back from 15-40 down in the 10th game and Simon crumbled with two straighterrors.
The victory stretches Federer’s impressive unbeaten run in Basel to 18 matches. Federer’s next opponent is seventh-seeded Daniil Medvedev, who beat fourth- seeded Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.
The 20th-ranked Russian now is 3-0 this season against the 16th-ranked Tsitsipas.
Earlier, Germany’s world No.5 Alexander Zverev overpowered Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut to claim a straight sets 7-5, 6-3 victory for his place inthe semi-finals.
It is Zverev’s 52nd win of the season and a ninth semi-final spot for the world number five, who has already qualified for the season-ending ATP Finals in London next month.
Zverev now plays Romanian Marius Copil after the 28-year-old qualifier, who is ranked at 93, beat American Taylor Fritz 7-6 (8-6), 7-5 for a place in the first ATP semi-final of his 10-year career.
Next time, Gilles.Source:AP
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