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Roger Federer Hangs Tough In Basel

Basel, Switzerland

Federer© AFP/Getty ImagesRoger Federer advanced to the quarter-finals with a hard-fought win.

With his fellow Final Showdown contenders falling around him at the Swiss Indoors Basel, Roger Federer stayed tough on Wednesday, fighting past Denis Istomin 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 to reach the quarter-finals. Should the Swiss win his sixth Basel crown this week, he would qualify for the season-ending Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.

"It's an amazing atmosphere for me to play in," Federer said about playing on home soil. "As a kid I was always thinking about Wimbledon and Basel. For me those were the two great things. It's important to never forget that dream. It's the dream I have been chasing after since I was a kid."

The Basel native overcame a slow start to beat Istomin in one hour and 51 minutes, notching his 49th win at the ATP World Tour 500 indoor hard-court tournament. He fended off four break points in the second game of the deciding set, before reeling off the last five games to claim victory.

Federer won the title in 2006-08 and 2010-11, and finished runner-up to Juan Martin del Potro in the final last year.

"I think the crowd rarely gets the opportunity to see me play three sets, whether good or bad," Federer said. "It was nice seeing the crowd fight for me and try to get me back into the match. It gives you that extra push to try harder."

The 32 year old is chasing his second ATP World Tour title of the season, following victory at the Gerry Weber Open in June (d. Youzhny). 

Former finalist Kei Nishikori, who had been a potential semi-final opponent for Federer this week, was defeated in the second round. Croatia’s Ivan Dodig defeated the Japanese No. 1 6-1, 6-2 in just 57 minutes, winning 77 per cent of points on serve. Dodig is through to his seventh ATP World Tour quarter-final of the season.

In-form Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov dismissed Radek Stepanek 6-3, 6-3 to open his Basel campaign. The 22 year old is coming off his maiden ATP World Tour title at the If Stockholm Open, where he defeated David Ferrer in the final. At a career-high World No. 22 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, Dimitrov improved to a 34-21 match record as he hit nine aces and broke serve four times to beat Stepanek in their first FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting.

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Top Doubles Team Advances

Top seeds Rohan Bopanna and Edouard Roger-Vasselin overcame Lukasz Kubot and Andreas Seppi, advancing 5-7, 6-3, 10-7 in the Basel doubles draw. The duo goes on to play Austrians Julian Knowle and Oliver Marach, who defeated Colin Fleming and Jonathan Marray 6-2, 7-6(1).

In the final doubles match of the day, Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi and Jean-Julien Rojer, the second seeds, lost to Treat Huey and Dominic Inglot 3-6, 7-6(4) 10-8. Qureshi and Rojer are still strong contenders to qualify for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, held 4-11 November in London.

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