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Federer, del Potro Advance To Rotterdam QFs; Baghdatis Tops Gasquet

Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Baghdatis© Henk KosterMarcos Baghdatis beat Richard Gasquet on Thursday.

Top seed and two-time champion Roger Federer will play Julien Benneteau in the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament quarter-finals on Friday after he beat Dutch wild card Thiemo de Bakker 6-3, 6-4 in 64 minutes. Federer, the 2005 (d. Ljubicic) and 2012 (d. del Potro) titlist, is competing at the ATP World Tour 500 indoor tournament for the eighth time (23-5 record). De Bakker, 24, dropped to 2-12 against players in the Top 10 of the Emirates ATP Rankings.

“It's always good when you start the tournament late, to start strong,” said Federer. “If you want to win the tournament, you need to win five matches in five days. So it's good to save energy. You relax a little bit once you reach the second or third round. I'm really happy to be back in Rotterdam and starting the tournament so well.”

Second seed Juan Martin del Potro set up a quarter-final clash against Jarkko Nieminen. Last year’s runner-up del Potro hit 12 aces past Latvian qualifier Ernests Gulbis in a 7-6(5), 6-3 victory for his fifth match win of the season (4-1 record). The Argentinean is bidding to lift his 14th tour-level trophy this week in Rotterdam.

“It was really close in the first set,” del Potro said. “I had the opportunity to win in the tie-break and I did. Then in the second set, I improved my game. I feel really glad to get through as he's a very difficult opponent for me.”

Watch del Potro Interview

Finn Nieminen reached his third ATP World Tour quarter-final (or better) on the season when he defeated German qualifier Matthias Bachinger 6-3, 5-7, 6-3 in just under two hours. Nieminen won his second 6-0, 6-0 win over David Goffin on Tuesday (also 2007 Miami, d. Korolev in 2R).

Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis maintained his perfect record against Richard Gasquet, the in-form French fourth seed, with a 6-4, 6-4 win. Baghdatis won 78 per cent of his first service points and hit nine aces against Gasquet, who dropped to 15-2 on the year. World No. 10 Gasquet has won two ATP World Tour titles so far this year, at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha (d. Davydenko) and at last week’s Open Sud de France in Montpellier (d. Paire). Baghdatis will next face Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov.

Watch Baghdatis Interview

Martin Klizan wiped away all seven break points against his serve to dismiss wild card Igor Sijsling 6-2, 6-4 in 69 minutes. Klizan meets fifth seed Gilles Simon in the quarter-finals. Sijsling was coming off his first Top 10 win after ousting Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the first round.

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