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Federer Survives Haas Test, Faces Nadal In QFs

Cincinnati, U.S.A.

Federer© Getty ImagesRoger Federer is a five-time Cincinnati champion.

Defending champion Roger Federer did his part to set up a quarter-final showdown with Rafael Nadal, as he came back to defeat German Tommy Haas 1-6, 7-5, 6-3 on Thursday afternoon at the Western & Southern Open. Nadal, last week's Coupe Rogers champion, defeated Grigor Dimitrov in the evening session 6-2, 5-7, 6-2.

Roger & Rafa: The Rivalry

Federer trails Nadal 10-20 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head, but they have split their 12 meetings on hard courts. Nadal drew level after defeating the Swiss in March at the BNP Paribas Open, en route to his first of four ATP World Tour Masters 1000 titles this season.

"I saw a little bit of the [Steve] Darcis match at Wimbledon, but the rest of the year for him has been unbelievable, how he came back and how successful he's played, almost always achieving finals really," said Federer. "So it's a great season for him. He's coming into this tournament clearly very confident."

Against Haas, Federer forced a third set after rallying from a break down in the second. He went up the decisive break, 5-3, and served out the victory after one hour and 52 minutes.

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"I think I had too many of those small hiccups that kept on adding up, because overall I wasn't playing terrible. I was just missing by a margin or putting myself in a tough spot," said Federer. "Then on top of that, Tommy took advantage of it, played well when he had to... I was just hanging on, and I'm happy I did because it paid off. At the end, I'm very happy I was able to turn a match around like this.

"Those are the matches I knew just kind of what I need right now," he added. "Every minute more in a match court is a good thing right now. It gives me a lot of opportunity in the next match to do better."

This 32-year-old Swiss is chasing an unprecedented sixth Cincinnati title this week.

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