Federer, Del Potro to face off for Rotterdam crown

World No. 3 Roger Federer was tested in his ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament semi-final by Nikolay Davydenko, but prevailed 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 to win in Rotterdam Saturday. In the final, Federer will square off against Juan Martin del Potro, after the No. 3 seed dismissed World No. 7 Tomas Berdych 6-3, 6-1. "These are the kinds of matches you need to help your confidence," stated Federer.
"Everything started to get better midway through the second set, and that's very encouraging going into the final tomorrow."

Davydenko broke for a 5-4 lead in the first set, and served it out after denying Federer a break point opportunity. He moved ahead 3-1 in the second set, before the top seed reeled off five consecutive games to even the clash at one-set all.

The Swiss had several opportunities to take hold of the match early in the third set, but Davydenko saved four break points in the opening game to hold. The Russian then had his chance to break Federer in the eighth game of the set, pinning his rival in a 0/40 hole. Federer held his nerve, winning five straight points to level at 4-4, and then broke Davydenko at love to take a 5-4 lead. He closed out the encounter on his first match point to advance in two hours and 16 minutes after winning 13 of the last 14 points of the match. "I think my mindset was there," Federer said.

"Even though I was down 0-40, I knew it wasn't over and that I still had a shot. "I had a winner's mindset. Sometimes you don't have those days, but today, I believed I could still win and I think that got me over the finish line."

Against Davydenko, Federer is now 17-2, including a season-opening win at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha. He is aiming to win his second title at the ATP World Tour 500 event, having tasted victory in 2005. The 30 year old defeated del Potro in the Australian Open quarter-finals, and holds an 8-2 mark against the former US Open champion.

Date: 19.02.2012, Source: ATP


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