Basel | Federer given a shock
Roger Federer, the Swiss Open title favourite who was cruising through the field, was brought back to earth with a bump by Adrian Mannarino of France who took the Swiss maestro to three sets before succumbing 4-6 6-1 6-3 after 103-minutes.
The world No.2, chasing an eighth title at his hometown tournament, had dropped only eight games as he breezed through the first two rounds but found his 28th-ranked quarter-final opponent a much tougher adversary than expected.
I just had a tough time really getting into it and he was rock solid, so he deserved that first set, but the reaction from me was really important.Roger Federer
Surprisingly, Federer lost the first set and while he regained his composure and control in the second, he then found himself embroiled in another tussle in the decider before finally gaining his place in the semi-finals where he faces Belgium’s David Goffin, who in turn battled past American Jack Sock 7-6(6) 6-3 in the last of the night’s quarter-finals.
2Today was a battle”, the Swiss admitted on reaching his 14th Swiss Open semi-final. “I had to somehow dig and fight and sometimes these wins are more rewarding than just leading from the get-go and dominating throughout and bringing it home. These are better matches to win sometimes, actually.
“I just had a tough time really getting into it and he was rock solid, so he deserved that first set, but the reaction from me was really important. On 2-3 in the third set he saved a break point hitting an unbelievable backhand winner.
“It doesn’t matter how you do it… you can’t allow yourself to lose a game after saving two break points the way you did, and I held my nerves, held the game, and was able to [get] through it.”
World No.4 Marin Cilic had an even harder time needing two tiebreaks to beat 100th-ranked Hungarian Marton Fucsovics 7-6(3) 5-7 7-6(4) in just over three hours.
The Croat now faces the popular Juan Martin del Potro, a late contender to snatch one of the last two places at the ATP World Tour Finals in London. The Argentine beat Roberto Bautista 6-2 2-6 6-4.