Federer beats Dimitrov to advance to Basel semis, Del Potro also through

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Roger Federer

Last year’s runner-up Roger Federer (Player Profile), seed number three, will be attempting to reach the milestone tenth final at his hometown ATP event on Saturday as he ended Grigor Dimitrov’s (Player Profile) recent winning streak in today’s quarter-finals. The eighth seed Bulgarian came to the Swiss Indoors Basel tournament on the heels of his debut career title in Stockholm and made it through the opening two rounds without surrendering a set, yet the experienced Swiss has proved to be too high a hurdle for the 22-year-old prospect in their first meeting on tour. Dimitrov started strong, though, and will not be pleased with squandering five break points in the second game of the opener, thus allowing the favorite’s serve to remain intact. FedEx settled into the match after that and stole two of his rival’s serves to acquire a one set lead. Dimitrov got ever so close to squaring things up in the second set where he broke the deadlock in the third game and generated a triple set point on Roger’s serve at 5-3. However, the Swiss kept mentally strong and showed his class to hold the service game and stun his demoralized opponent next to make it 5-5. The Bulgarian could not really regroup for the subsequent tie-break where he committed too many unforced errors to keep hoping for a decider. The home fans were happy to see the local hero tucking away a service winner to cap off a solid performance with a 6-3, 7-6 (2) triumph. The Basel serial winner – he seized five trophies between 2006 and 2011 – will confront Canadian number two Vasek Pospisil in the semis; the latter eliminated big-serving Croat veteran Ivan Dodig by beating him 7-6 (11), 6-4.

Juan Martin Del Potro (Player Profile) came one step closer to defending the Swiss Indoors title by toppling his quarter-final challenger Paul-Henri Mathieu (Player Profile) in straight sets. The unseeded Frenchman put up a good fight against the top seed, yet he was never in position to endanger Delpo’s victory. The Argentine showed no mercy on his serve, whilst he converted two out out of three break points he generated during one hour and twenty minutes of tennis in Basel. Serving for the match, he threw in a confident love hold to win 6-4, 6-4. He will try to secure his final ticket against a surprise semi-finalist Edouard Roger-Vasselin who edged out Germany’s Daniel Brands in a three setter: 6-3, 4-6, 6-3. The 65th-ranked Frenchman upset fourth seed Stan Wawrinka in his Basel opener.

“It’s a pleasure winning my 300th match on tour, doing it here in Basel, against Mathieu,” said Del Potro. “I think I played really well. I don’t know if I deserved that, but it’s like a gift for all my efforts for many, many years of work. I am looking forward to [trying to] reach the final once again. I am trying to go far and repeat what I did last year.” 

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