Sun, Oct 26, 2008 - Page 18 News List

Federer eases past Italy’s Bolelli

ON HOME GROUND Roger Federer will face Feliciano Lopez, while in the other semi David Nalbandian will play compatriot and world No. 9 Juan Martin Del Potro

AFP , BASEL, SWITZERLAND

Switzerland’s Roger Federer serves to Italy’s Simone Bolelli during their quarter-final at the Davidoff Swiss Indoors in Basel, Switzerland, on Friday.

PHOTO: EPA

Roger Federer takes the confidence of a 6-0 career record over Feliciano Lopez into his semi-final at the Swiss Indoors as the top seed kept up his bid for a home trophy hat-trick on Friday.

Federer eased past Italian Simone Bolelli, claiming his 61st victory of the season, 6-2, 6-3 in their quarter-final. Dubai finalist Lopez upset American fourth seed James Blake 6-4, 7-6 (9/7) as the Spaniard went through on his fourth match point, leaving Blake’s effort to qualify for the Masters Cup in Shanghai stalled.

The American missed on all eight of his break point chances. Final jockeying for positions at the eight-man year-end Masters Cup will take place next week as the regular ATP season ends at the Paris Masters.

Federer, who began his career at his local event, recovered well after a testing second round clash with Jarkko Niemimen, as 42nd-ranked Bolelli failed to pose any major problems.

Bolelli rallied briefly in the penultimate game, saving three match points before the Swiss superstar secured victory with two aces and a service winner to wrap it up in just over an hour.

“Bolelli’s difficult, so I had to stay alert,” Federer said of the Munich finalist. “But when I got settled in this was the optimum result for me.”

Second seed David Nalbandian reached the semis for the fourth time in seven appearances to set up a showdown with Davis Cup teammate Juan Martin Del Potro.

Second seed Nalbandian, the 2002 champion, is fresh from a loss to his talented 20-year-old compatriot last week in the Madrid Masters third round. Del Potro, 20, and ranked ninth in the world to Nalbandian’s eighth, beat Russian Igor Andreev 6-4, 7-5, while Nalbandian accounted for German qualifier Benjamin Becker 7-6 (7/4), 6-4.

Nalbandian is devoting all of his energy toward the Nov. 21 to Nov. 23 Davis Cup final in Mar del Plata against Spain, uninterested in qualifying for the Masters Cup and refusing this year to make a trip across the Pacific. Del Potro, young and eager at age 20, is keen to make it to both Shanghai, where he stands seventh in the race for one of three remaining spots, and the Davis Cup final.

Del Potro moves from strength to strength as he won his 35th match from his last 38, including a run to four straight titles over the summer. He also finished runner-up in Tokyo, then reached his first Masters Series quarter-final at Madrid, where he lost to Federer. The youngster now stands 44-11 on the season with a 1-1 record against his senior compatriot.

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