By Erik Gudris/Saturday, October 26, 2013
Roger Federer overcame a stern test from Canada's Vasek Pospisil in the Swiss Indoor semis. He'll face Juan Martin Del Potro who beat him in last year's finals.
Photo Credit: AP
Roger Federer proved once again that perhaps indeed "Father Knows Best", at least when it comes to him taking on a up-and-coming challenger.
Fresh off winning a much-anticipated quarterfinal against Grigor Dimitrov at the Swiss Indoors in Basel on Friday, Federer once again had to face a rising young star in the semifinals. But what looked like a routine win against Canada's Vasek Pospisil proved anything but for the Swiss veteran who once again relied on the heavy hometown support to spur him on to victory.
Federer took command early in the opening set with a big backhand pass to claim a 2-1 lead. After fighting off a break point against him with a shaky, but effective smash, Federer soon climbed to 5-3.
A volley error from Pospisil while serving down 0-40 in the next game gave Federer the set 6-3.
Federer looked in complete control for most of the match despite Pospisil not looking overawed in his first ever meeting against the 17-time Grand Slam champion. That was until Federer served for the match up 5-3 in the second set. Untimely errors from Federer allowed Pospisil back into the set at 5-4.
Soon a tiebreak was needed. Staying close with Federer, Pospisil ripped a big passing shot to then take a 6-3 lead. A netted backhand from Federer ended the set and forced a decider.
With the Basel crowd often sitting in silence during the changeover as if contemplating what might happen should Federer lose, he and Pospisil engaged in a tense yet riveting final set. Pospisil, again eager to force the issue, attacked Federer's serve and drew several errors.
That allowed the Canadian to jump ahead for 3-1. But Federer broke back right away at love with a deft backhand pass for 3-2.
The critical moment of the match came at 5-all in the set. After clawing back from being 15-40 down on his serve, Pospisil appeared poised to make Federer serve for yet another tiebreak. But down break point, the Canadian missed a sure forehand winner to give Federer the 6-5 lead.
Big serving from Federer down the stretch allowed him to finally close out the tenacious Pospisil 6-3, 6-7(3), 7-5 and reach his 10th final in Basel, a tournament best record.
Del Potro Sees Off Roger-Vasselin
Earlier in the day, Juan Martin Del Potro also appeared poised for a routine win only to be forced into three sets.
Taking on France's Edouard Roger-Vasselin, Del Potro secured the first set 6-4. However, Del Potro had to take an extended medical time out to deal with a nosebleed.
Once that was sorted out, Del Potro took hold of an early break. But Del Potro's level dropped and Roger-Vasselin, with a well-timed return winner, broke back for 4-all. Roger-Vasselin went on to take the second set 6-4. But Del Potro, though not playing at his best, recovered to take an early lead in the final set.
Del Potro went on to win 6-4, 4-6, 6-2.
Federer who lost to Del Potro in last year's Basel finals, still leads the overall head to head 13-4. If Federer wins the finals tomorrow, he will qualify for the upcoming ATP World Tour Finals in London.