Federer to face Del Potro in Basel final for second year in a row

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Del Potro

For the second year in a row the Swiss Indoor final in Basel will feature local hero Roger Federer (Profile) and reigning champion Juan Martin Del Potro (Profile) – both seeded players advanced after being stretched to three sets by their semi-final opponents today.

World no. 5 Argentine started brightly against Edouard Roger-Vasselin by snatching a break in the opening game, yet his rival pegged back to make it 3-3. That hardly bothered Delpo who pulled off a break to love in the subsequent game and went on to claim the set several minutes later. The 65th-ranked Frenchman, who was aiming to build on his terrific performances in Switzerland this week, stayed strong after going a break down in the middle of the second set and turned it around to level the terms – it was the first set the top seed has surrendered in Basel this year. However, he succeeded to reinstate his dominance in the decider which he opened by rushing to a 4-0 lead and produced a hold to love a few games later to secure the second consecutive final ticket at the ATP World Tour 500 tournament by winning 6-4, 4-6, 6-2. He will be eying his third successive triumph over Federer tomorrow.

The third-seeded Swiss Maestro was playing with the nerves of his fans in a back and forth semi-final clash in which he almost allowed 23-year-old Vasek Pospisil to take him by surprise in the end. FedEx pulled all the strings in the opener which he closed out with the second break and came within touching distance of a straight sets victory when serving for the match at 5-3, yet the chance went begging and a tie-break followed. The home crowd favorite was anything but convincing in the breaker and practically handed over the second set to the Canadian due to frequent mistakes. Federer kept struggling to influence the proceedings again, whilst his challenger had his tail up when pulling 3-1 ahead in the decider. Unfortunately for Pospisil, his experienced adversary had enough fuel left in the tank to come back and eventually win 6-3, 6-7 (3), 7-5 after two hours and forty-one minutes of play on Center Court. The 32-year-old is leading the head-to-head score against Del Potro 13-4 with the last success coming in the Olympic semi-final in 2012.

The Argentine knows he will have to play near his best to defend the Basel title: “Against Federer, it doesn’t matter what he says. He’s Roger Federer. He’s playing in his hometown and on this surface. He’s very good on this surface. He has experience. He’s won here five times. He’s looking forward to winning again and to qualify in London with a win here. If I play much better than I did today and serve well, I know the way to make things complicated for him. In the final, anything can happen.”

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