Basel, Switzerland (Sports Network) - Roger Federer surely won't have it easy
in an attempt to win the title in his hometown for a third straight year and
sixth time overall.
Federer was a straight-set winner Saturday in the semifinals of the Swiss
Indoors and will meet Juan Martin del Potro in Sunday's final after the
Argentine star also advanced in straight sets.
Del Potro was first on the court Saturday and dispatched third-seeded
Frenchman Richard Gasquet in 6-2, 6-2 fashion before Federer claimed a 7-5,
6-4 triumph over another Frenchman in Paul-Henri Mathieu.
The top-seeded Federer won his hometown crown from 2006-08 and again the past
two years. He beat Japan's Kei Nishikori last year after topping Novak
Djokovic in 2010. Another former major champion awaits Sunday in del Potro.
Seeded second this week, the 2009 U.S. Open champ is coming off a title last
weekend in Vienna. He also won tournaments in Marseille and Estoril earlier
this year, while losing another final in Rotterdam.
The setback in Rotterdam came against Federer, one of six losses del Potro has
suffered this year alone against the 17-time Grand Slam champ. Federer also
prevailed in quarterfinals at the Australian Open, Indian Wells and the French
Open, as well as semifinals at Dubai and the Olympics.
In fact, Federer owns a 13-2 lifetime mark against del Potro and has a seven-
match winning streak in the series dating back to 2009, when del Potro picked
up his only two wins. He stunned Federer in the U.S. Open title match that
summer, then came away with a round-robin win in the ATP World Tour Finals a
few months later.
The two also met once previously in Basel, back in 2007 when Federer notched a
6-1, 6-4 victory in the round of 16.
Federer, also a three-time runner-up in his home tournament, has 76 career
titles and on Sunday will try for his seventh of 2012. In addition to
Rotterdam, the current world No. 1 also won in Dubai, Indian Wells, Madrid,
Wimbledon and Cincinnati. His two title match losses this year came in Halle
and the Olympics.
Del Potro, meanwhile, owns a 12-5 mark all-time in finals.
Both players had relatively simple matches Saturday.
Del Potro needed a mere 67 minutes to dispose of Gasquet, breaking serve five
times en route to his eighth straight match win. He also beat Gasquet earlier
this year for the title in Estoril.
Federer broke Mathieu twice and didn't have his serve threatened in the nearly
90-minute match Saturday. He finally broke the French wild card entry for a
6-5 lead in the first set, then picked up his second break for a 3-2 edge in
Sunday's winner will collect a first prize of $440,000.
The Sports Network