Federer battles past Mayer to reach Hamburg semis

Roger Federer will face qualifier Federico Delbonis in the semi-finals of the German Tennis Championships in Hamburg after overcoming a stern test from Florian Mayer in Friday’s quarter-finals.

Federer had never previously lost a set to Mayer in their four meetings, but found himself repeatedly pegged back by the dogged German before prevailing 7-6(4), 3-6, 7-5 in two hours. The Swiss twice squandered a break advantage in the third set before breaking decisively in the 11th game.

“It was extremely difficult,” said Federer. “I started really well. I thought we were both hitting the ball well in the first set and not giving each other that many chances. It went down to the wire. I'm happy I played a good tie-break. I should have been up early with a break in the second set; he got me there. It was a bit of a rollercoaster till the very end of the match. Just had to tough it out.

"The conditions were cold and heavy, the clay was heavy. So, it was different than we had expected at the beginning of the day when we thought we would play at 5:15pm. I have to say that I really enjoyed the match. It was a tough match and Florian fought hard."

Federer has never played the No. 114-ranked Delbonis before. Argentinean completed a surprise 6-7(5) 7-6(8) 6-4 victory over Fernando Verdasco on earlier today. He is bidding to reach his third ATP World Tour final of the season, having won his 77th tour-level title at the Gerry Weber Open in Halle (d. Youzhny) and finished runner-up at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome (l. to Nadal).

Date: 19th July 2013, Source: ATP


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