Basel | Federer and Del Potro for a third time
Juan Martin del Potro reached the final of the Swiss Open where he will meet the home favourite Roger Federer for a third time in Basel. DelPo, who won back-to-back Swiss titles in 2012 and ’13 beating the seven-time former champion Federer, on both occasions, will qualify for the ATP Finals in London if he wins the title on Sunday.
However, the big fourth seed from Argentina, acknowledges that he is tired following his 6-4 6-4 defeat of the second seeded Marin Cilic Del Potro having appeared in the Shanghai semi-final a fortnight ago and won the Stockholm title last weekend
Not many players can beat Roger, the greatest in history. It's always a pleasure to play him, and to do it in his hometown is amazing Juan Martin del Potro
But he is clearly determined to end the year on a high by appearing at the O2. His win over Cilic, the reigning champion, was his 10th in 12 meetings and his 7th on the trot and is delighted he will be meeting Federer for the title.
“I’d love to play Roger again at his tournament, I know the crowd wants him in the final,” said the 29-year-old whose match preceded Feder’s semi against David Goffin. “I’m happy to be in the final, I hope to play good tennis for the crowd and for myself.
“Not many players can beat Roger, the greatest in history,” Del Potro added. “It’s always a pleasure to play him, and to do it in his hometown is amazing.”
DelPotro required just 45 minutes to win the opening set against Cilic and a break in the penultimate game of the opener followed by a hold from 0-30 down gave the former champion the lead
In the second set, the South American broke early only to lose his advantage in te sixth game but it proved a minor setback as he then regained it immediately going on to seal the win with his seventh ace.
Federer is also on a mission as he works towards overhauling Rafa Nadal as the year-ending world No1 but doubts have been raised about his possible withdrawal form next week’s Paris Masters which would certainly hinder his campaign.
Meanwhile in Basel, following a very tight quarter-final encounter, normal service was resumed by the Swiss Maestro who required just 60-minutesto dispatch his Belgian opponent 6-1 6-2.
It was their 6th meeting and Goffin is still to win a match. Federer on this occasion never let his young challenger into the match winning more than 50% of the points and breaking Goffin four times from 10 chances, without facing a break point on his own serve.