ATP Swiss Indoors: Roger Federer comes from set down to beat Denis Istomin in Basel
Roger Federer recovered from a sluggish start to beat Denis Istomin and advance to the third round of the Swiss Indoors.
Last Updated: 24/10/13 3:54pm
Chasing much-needed ranking points in an attempt to reach the season-ending World Tour Finals, Federer's bid to reach London looked in real danger as he lost the opening set.
But he thrilled his home fans in Basel by fighting back to clinch a 4-6 6-3 6-2 success in just under two hours.
With the first two sets having been shared, the third game of the decider developed into a pivotal situation in the contest with Federer eventually staving off four breaks points to hold.
From there the momentum shifted and the Swiss favourite pulled away to complete victory on his first match-point.
"I stared poorly, making too many errors, especially on the forehand," said Federer. "I was risking too much and it was not paying off.
"I had to cut that risk and was a bit lucky to win. I started fighting back and got better as the match went on.
"I'm happy that I was able to turn it around, I needed a match like this."
Reigning champion Juan Martin del Potro made a solid start to his defence with a 6-4 6-4 win over Finnish-born Swiss youngster Henri Laaksonen.
Early exit for Gasquet
Meanwhile, Richard Gasquet is in further danger of missing out on the season-ending ATP event next month following his first-round exit to Michael Llodra.
The fifth seed seed lost in just 70 minutes to French compatriot Llodra 6-4 6-2, meaning he now needs to impress at new week's Paris Masters.
He sits behind the likes of Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka in ninth position for a spot in the eight-man World Tour Finals in London which starts a week from Monday.
Gasquet, who lost in the Shanghai first round and rebounded by winning the Moscow title at the weekend, admitted that fatigue played its part in his exit.
"I was tired after playing a lot of matches," said the player who qualified for the year-end event in 2007 when it was played in Shanghai.
"It was a long flight from Moscow and the conditions here, the court and the balls, are completely different.
"Plus Michael was playing very well, it was very tough for me today. It's disappointing to lose but now I need to rest and then try to play well in Paris. It's my last chance."
Elsewhere, Paul-Henri Mathieu moved into the second round as he beat American Denis Kudla 6-4 7-5 and Canadian Vasek Pospisil earned revenge for a loss last week as he beat Robin Haase 6-4 6-4.
Watch all the action from the Basel 500 event from 1.00pm on Sky Sports 2 HD