Federer Cruises Into Basel Quarter-finals
Benoit Paire had never won a set against Roger Federer prior to their second-round encounter at the Swiss Indoors Basel on Thursday. That did not come close to changing.
Federer swept the Frenchman, 6-1, 6-3, in 57 minutes to continue his pursuit of an eighth title at his hometown event. It is the 15th time he has advanced to at least the quarter-finals in Basel.
"It feels nice. I've played good tennis from the start of this tournament. There's always extra pressure playing at home and wanting to do well and try to stay in the tournament," Federer said. "I'm happy to be through to the quarters and we'll see what happens now."
After a 10-point service game to open the match, Federer never faltered. He broke Paire for a 2-0 lead in the first set and did not look back, facing no break points while breaking his opponent four times. Federer clinched the matchup with a crosscourt forehand approach shot for a winner.
The Swiss extended his FedEx ATP Head2Head series lead over Paire to 5-0. Out of the 11 sets they have now played, Federer has won eight of the sets by a margin of 6-3 or greater. Thursday’s win was by the same scoreline as the 36 year old’s last victory against Paire, at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships earlier this year. He also defeated Frances Tiafoe by that scoreline in his Basel opener.
The Swiss will play seventh seed Adrian Mannarino, who came back to oust #NextGenATP Canadian Denis Shapovalov, 4-6, 6-1, 6-2 in one hour, 43 minutes.
The Frenchman avenged a loss against the left-hander from earlier this year in the quarter-finals of the Coupe Rogers. Federer leads Mannarino, who is ranked No. 28 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, 4-0 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series. While the pair has not met since 2013 in Basel, none of the sets have been closer than 6-4 in favour of the Swiss.
"Everything is looking good so far," Federer said. "I'm happy about it."