Roger Federer beats Adrian Mannarino to reach Swiss Indoors semi-final
World No 2 battles back from a set down to remain in the hunt for an eighth Basel title
By Paul Prenderville
Last Updated: 28/10/17 5:23pm
Roger Federer was forced to battle all the way before eventually seeing off Adrian Mannarino in three entertaining sets at the Swiss Indoors in Basel.
Having lost the first set, Federer fought back brilliantly to drop just four games on his way to a 4-6 6-1 6-3 victory that sees the Swiss great through to a semi-final with David Goffin.
Federer mixed 27 winners with 34 unforced errors as he was pushed all the way by Mannarino's inventive all-court game but in the end Federer's backhand proved the difference as he remained on course for a seventh title of the year.
The 36-year-old has already claimed two Grand Slam titles and three Masters events in a season that has seen him lose just four times but a fifth defeat looked on the cards early on in front of his adoring crowd at the St Jakobshalle.
A solitary break was enough for Mannarino to take the first set, his first in four meetings with Federer and the first time he had won more than three games in a set against the World No 2.
But Federer was quick to right the wrongs and raced through the second set with a blaze of blistering winners before choosing the decisive moment to strike in the decider to wrap up the match.
Federer missed last year's event but was the champion in 2014 and 2015, the ninth and 10th years successive years he reached the final.
Third seed Goffin beat Sock in the final match of Friday's programme while in the other half of the draw, two-time Basel champion Juan Martin del Potro will face the defending champion Marin Cilic in what looks like being a high-quality semi-final.
Del Potro's surge over the final weeks of the season continued as he reached his fourth semi-final in his last five tournaments with a hard-working three-set victory over Roberto Bautista Agut.
The Argentine, who beat Federer in the final in both 2012 and 2013, has thrust himself into contention for a place at the ATP Finals with his form of late but the punishing schedule looked like it was taking its toll towards the end of his 6-2 2-6 6-4 victory.
A champion in Stockholm last week, Del Potro could move into the eighth and final spot for the O2 if he wins the tournament in Switzerland and he will next face Cilic after the Croat was forced to dig deep against a dogged Marton Fucsovics, the world No 100.
Having come through qualifying Fucsovics battled back to level the contest before Cilic eventually prevailed with a 7-6 5-7 7-6 success that took just over three hours.
Swiss Indoors Semi-Finals
Roger Federer v David Goffin
Juan Martin del Potro v Marin Cilic
Sky Sports has all the action from the Erste Bank Open in Vienna and Swiss Indoors Basel this week before the Paris Masters.
The Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan and season-ending extravaganza ATP Finals at London's O2 in November end another memorable year which will be covered via our website www.skysports.com/tennis with live blogs and updates as the season reaches its climax.
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