By Erik Gudris/ Friday, October 25, 2013
In a highly anticipated first time meeting in Basel, Roger Federer got the best of Grigor Dimitrov. Top seed Juan Martin Del Potro posted his 300th career win.
Photo Credit: AP
Perhaps the name of the classic TV show "Father Knows Best" is the best way to sum up the anticipated quarterfinal meeting between one of the sport's biggest stars and a rising one at the Swiss Indoors in Basel.
The first-time meeting between Grigor Dimitrov and Roger Federer even had their joint clothing sponsor getting in on the hype with a message on Twitter that simply said "Worth the wait." But was it?
More or less, yes.
Federer himself got off to a scratchy opening service game that saw him fall behind 0-40. But the Swiss star, playing in front of a vocal local crowd, recovered to finally hold for 1-all.
Despite the sometimes eerie similarities in their shot production that has earned Dimitrov the unofficial nickname "Baby Fed," Dimitrov proved he was very much his own man in the early stages of the opening set.
But once Federer settled into his own game, he proved the superior player. Staying aggressive along with timing his forehand to precision, a free-flowing Federer seized the first break of the set to go up 4-3. Federer pounced again when Dimitrov served to stay in the set down 3-5. A big forehand from Federer soon created set point. Federer converted when Dimitrov netted a forehand on the next point.
Federer hit 13 winners to notch a convincing 6-3 first set.
But things got scratchy for both players in the second set. At 1-1, Federer found himself 30-0 in his next service game.
But a rash of errors from Federer, culminating in a double fault while down break point, allowed Dimitrov to take an early lead. Though Dimitrov, playing in his 10th straight match since winning Stockholm last week, threw in his own mix of winners and errors, he stayed the course.
Dimitrov soon found himself up 5-3 and then 0-40 on Federer's next service game. Despite holding three set points, Dimitrov couldn't convert any of them. Federer climbed back to deuce and with a punch volley winner a few points later got to 4-5.
Dimitrov, perhaps feeling the pressure serving for the set, then tossed in an error-filled game. Two forehand errors, a double fault and a blown overhead smash from the Bulgarian allowed Federer right back in for 5-all.
A tiebreak was then needed to decide the set. Federer took command early with a mini-break thanks to a Dimitrov backhand error. When Dimitrov later sent a routine forehand into the net, it gave Federer a healthy 5-1 lead.
With a final big serve, Federer soon closed out the 6-3, 7-6(2) victory to the delight of the Basel crowd.
Federer will now face another rising young player in the semifinals.
Canada's Vasek Pospisil earlier knocked out Ivan Dodig 7-6(11), 6-4 to reach his first ever ATP 500 level semifinal. Pospisil, now ranked No. 40, also reached the semis of the ATP 1000 event in Montreal earlier this summer.
Del Potro Earns Milestone Win
Earlier in the day, top seed Juan Martin Del Potro easily made his way into the semifinals with a career milestone victory.
Taking on France's Paul-Henri Mathieu, Del Potro only surrendered six points on serve to secure a 6-4, 6-4 win. This is now Del Potro's 300th career ATP win, making him the sixth Argentine to complete such a feat.
READ - Del Potro Scores 300th Career Win
Del Potro will next face another Frenchman in the semifinals. Edouard Roger-Vasselin entered his third ATP Tour semi this year with a 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 win over Germany's Daniel Brands.