Federer, Del Potro to meet in Swiss Indoors final

Roger Federer and Juan Martin del Potro advanced to the Swiss Indoors final, setting up a rematch of their epic semifinal at the London Olympics.

Top-ranked Federer brushed aside Paul-Henri Mathieu of France 7-5, 6-4 in the semifinals after Del Potro eased to a 6-2, 6-2 win over third-seeded Frenchman Richard Gasquet.

Victory for Federer saw him draw level with John McEnroe’s tally of 875 match wins, the fourth-best total in the Open Era. Should he win his 77th tour-level title on Sunday, he would also equal the American’s career haul.

The 31-year-old Federer will contest the final of this ATP World Tour 500 indoor hard court tournament for the ninth time. As well as victories in 2006-08 and 2010-11, he was also runner-up in 2000-01 and 2009. He is bidding to win his seventh tour-level title of the season.

Federer has beaten Del Potro all six times they have met this season on a mixture of clay, grass and hard courts, though he was pushed to his limits on Centre Court at Wimbledon in London Olympics. Federer won 19-17 in the decisive third set. Overall, Federer has won 13 out of 15 meetings with Del Potro whose only wins over the Swiss were at the U.S. Open final in 2009 and at the World Tour Finals the same year.

''I'm excited to see how he is going to come out and play,'' Federer said of Sunday's final. ''We have had a couple of tough ones, at the French Open and particularly at the Olympics. I had a really hard time breaking his serve. The margins are extremely small.''

''I was close in the Olympics and French Open but I never beat him this year,'' said the eight-ranked Del Potro, who rebounded from the tough Olympics loss to win his bronze-medal match. ''He has all the shots. He's a very, very complete player.''

Excellent anticipation at the net put Federer into position to hit a volleyed winner to create two set points in the first. He clinched with a forehand winner.

Federer moved his opponent around the court in the final game before putting away an overhead to earn match point, and sealed victory when Mathieu netted a two-handed backhand. Federer did not have to face one break point against Mathieu, converting two of the four that came his way to ease into the final.

Date: 27th October 2012, Source: AP and Reuters


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