Published: 25 Oct 2012 10:12 GMT+02:00 | Print version
Updated: 25 Oct 2012 10:12 GMT+02:00
Roger Federer was put to the test at his home Swiss Indoors on Wednesday but conjured up a 6-3, 6-7 (6/8), 7-5 defeat of Thomaz Bellucci to advance to the quarter-finals.
The champion at five of the last six editions needed all of his guile at the end to advance in just over three hours with eight aces and two breaks of serve.
Federer has now won 31 of his last 32 matches here, with his only loss coming against Novak Djokovic in the 2009 final.
The hometown star who got his first exposure to the game as a ballboy at the venue profitted from a day off on Tuesday while Bellucci, a weekend finalist in Moscow, had to go three sets the previous evening.
"It was a tough match but a very enjoyable one," said 17-time grand slam champion Federer, seeking his 77th title.
"I maybe had some luck at the end.
"I also had a rest while he was playing yesterday after a long trip. But Thomaz played really well, I had to work for this one."
Federer had a successful experiment with serve-and-volley tactics, mainly in the opening set, which he won in half an hour.
But Bellucci took the second into a tiebreaker, with Federer fighting to save four set points before finally losing on the fifth. It took a deciding set for the world number one to advance to his 66th season victory.
"I was very satisfied with how I played, All of the others play well against me, they raise their games for these matches."
Second seed Juan Martin del Potro overcame a first-set back problem to make a winning start 6-4, 6-1 over Alejandro Falla.
The South American battle finished in just under 90 minutes with del Potro running away with the second set.
"I was feeling tight in some parts of my body, but it was nothing dangerous," said the winner, "I will take care of it and be ready for my next match,
"I still made a good start to this event, I couldn't serve huge like last week in Vienna. But I won in two sets and that's good for the confidence and for saving energy for the next match."
Del Potro is hunting for one of two remaining spots in the eight-man year-end championships in London from November 5, standing provisional seventh ahead of French back injury victim Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and number nine Serb Janko Tipsarevic, who quit this week - as did Tsonga - with a physical problem at the Valencia event.
"Qualifying for London is very important for me," said del Potro. "I'm very excited to be so close, it's a big goal.
"But I've not qualified yet. I need to win more matches. I hope to get there either this week or next."
There was trouble for two other seeds, with Frenchman Benoit Paire upsetting last week's Moscow titleholder Andreas Seppi, the number five seed, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3.
Australian Marinko Matosevic put out Florian Mayer, the German seventh seed, 6-2, 6-3. Paul-Henri Mathieu of France beat Swiss-Finn Henri Laaksonen 6-2, 7-5.
Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov joined Federer in the last eight with his defeat of Julien Benneteau 7-6 (7/5), 6-7 (1/7), 7-6 (7/3).
A 40-year-old man was sentenced on Wednesday to life in prison, 15 years after he killed a 50-year-old gay taxi driver in his Geneva apartment by stabbing him 47 times with a knife . READ () »
Swiss lawmakers rejected on Wednesday a deal proposed by Washington to expose American tax dodgers and halt a raft a US lawsuits provided that Swiss banks that helped stash the cash pay massive fines. READ () »
Switzerland's senate on Wednesday again backed a deal with Washington to expose US tax dodgers and fine Swiss banks which helped hide their money, a day after G8 leaders agreed to chase cheats and corporate fiddles. READ () »
When I lost my job in Zurich three months ago, I felt like the world was collapsing around me. I felt inadequate and angry, and had a sense of shame about becoming unemployed in a foreign country. READ () »
At least four drowning deaths were reported in Switzerland on Tuesday amid the country’s continuing heatwave, which is drawing throngs of bathers to the country’s rivers and lakes. READ () »
The world's largest fully solar-powered boat, a Swiss vessel called "Turanor PlanetSolar," docked in New York on Tuesday during a mission to study the effects of climate change on the Gulf Stream current. READ () »
Swiss champion football team FC Basel may be in danger of losing one of its top players, striker Jacques Zoua. READ () »
Students at one of Zurich’s largest secondary schools were sent home on Tuesday after seniors trashed parts of the building in what was described in news reports as a “graduation prank”. READ () »
The last mountain pass highway route in Switzerland was finally cleared of snow on Tuesday as most of the country continued to swelter in a heatwave with record-breaking temperatures. READ () »
Britain's Serious Fraud Office on Tuesday said that former UBS trader Tom Hayes had become the first person to be charged in connection with its probe into the Libor rate-rigging scandal that has rocked the banking sector. READ () »