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Federer Closes In On Final Showdown; Del Potro Claims 300th Match Win

Basel, Switzerland

Federer© AFP/Getty ImagesRoger Federer is now 50-8 at the Basel tournament.

Roger Federer moved to within two match wins of qualifying for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals on Friday when he reached the Swiss Indoors Basel semi-finals.

Federer, who will play Vasek Pospisil on Saturday, was made to work hard for a 6-3, 7-6(2) win over Grigor Dimitrov in their first FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting.

"Tonight was one of those nights where I was able to win the right points, but it was bit of an up and down match from both sides," said Federer. The 17-time Grand Slam champion recovered from 3-5, 0/40 in the second set en route to his 38th victory of the year (38-13 overall).

Should the former Basel ball boy win the title for the sixth time he will qualify for the season-ending tournament, which will be held at The O2 in London from 4-11 November, for the 12th straight year.

Federer has now won 50 matches at the ATP World Tour 500 tournament in Basel. It is the fifth different tournament he’s won 50 or more matches: 

Tournament Win-Loss Record
Australian Open 68-10
Wimbledon 67-8
US Open 67-9
Roland Garros 58-14
Swiss Indoors Basel 50-8

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Defending champion Juan Martin del Potro claimed his 300th match win as he cruised into the Swiss Indoors Basel semi-finals with a 6-4, 6-4 win over qualifier Paul-Henri Mathieu on Friday. The Argentine dominated on serve, hitting 11 aces and only surrendering six points overall to claim victory in 79 minutes.

"It's a pleasure winning my 300th match on tour, doing it here in Basel, against Mathieu,” said del Potro. “I think I played really well. I don't know if I deserved that, but it's like a gift for all my efforts for many, many years of work. I am looking forward to [trying to] reach the final once again. I am trying to go far and repeat what I did last year."

The World No. 5 became the sixth Argentine to reach the 300-wins club, joining Guillermo Vilas (929), David Nalbandian (383), Jose-Luis Clerc (375), Juan Ignacio Chela (326) and Martin Jaite (301).

PLAYERS TO REACH 300-MATCH MILESTONE IN 2013

Player Career W/L 300th WIN
Nicolas Almagro 331-212 Acapulco (d. Ramirez in 1R)
Feliciano Lopez 324-309 Memphis (d. Sock in QF)
Jurgen Melzer 319-297 Zagreb (d. Rosol in QF)
Gilles Simon 301-206 Bangkok (d. Tomin in 2R)
Mardy Fish 300-215 Winston-Salem (d. Donskoy in 1R)
Juan Martin del Potro 300-120 Basel (d. Mathieu in QF)

Del Potro has already secured his place at the season-ending Barclays ATP World Tour Finals and is bidding to win his fourth title of the season and reach his third final in a row. The Tandil native is coming off a strong Asian swing, which saw him win the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships in Tokyo (d. Raonic) and defeat Rafael Nadal to reach the Shanghai Rolex Masters final (l. to Djokovic).

Del Potro next will face World No. 65 Edouard Roger-Vasselin, who reached his third ATP World Tour semi-final of the season as he as he battled past Daniel Brands 6-3, 4-6, 6-3. The Frenchman withstood 14 aces and saved four of the five break points he faced to prevail in just under two hours.

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Pospisil took another step forward Friday as he defeated Ivan Dodig 7-6(11), 6-4 at the Swiss Indoors Basel to reach his third ATP World Tour semi-final of the season. The 23 year old relinquished a break advantage in the second set, but broke decisively in the ninth game before serving out victory in one hour and 45 minutes.

The No. 40-ranked Pospisil reached his first semi-final in July at the Claro Open Colombia in Bogota before a breakthrough week at the Coupe Rogers in Montreal, where he beat World No. 6 Tomas Berdych en route to the semi-finals (l. to Raonic). He has compiled a 17-16 match record on the season.

"Polish Power" Strengthen Their London Bid

Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski strengthened their cases for a spot at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals on Friday night. The third seeds swept past Lukas Dlouhy and Paul Hanley 6-3, 6-2 in 57 minutes. The “Polish Power” is currently in eighth position in the Emirates ATP Doubles Team Rankings with 2,865 points, 350 points ahead of ninth-placed Max Mirnyi and Horia Tecau.

In the other doubles quarter-final played on Friday, top seeds Rohan Bopanna and Roger-Vasselin fell to Austrians Julian Knowle and Oliver Marach 6-4, 6-4.

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