Federer, Del Potro advance in Basel

3:27 PM, Oct 24, 2012   |    comments
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Basel, Switzerland (Sports Network) - Hometown icon Roger Federer and Argentine star Juan Martin del Potro highlighted Wednesday's winners at the Swiss Indoors tennis event.

The world No. 1 and five-time champion Federer snuck past last week's Moscow runner-up Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil, 6-3, 6-7 (6-8), 7-5, in 2 hours, 3 minutes on the indoor hardcourts at St. Jakobshalle.

The Basel native Federer beat Japan's Kei Nishikori for a second straight and fifth overall Basel title a year ago. The Swiss great also claimed championships here from 2006-08 and was a Swiss Indoors runner-up in 2000, 2001 and 2009.

Federer's quarterfinal opponent on Friday will be Pole Lukasz Kubot or Frenchman Benoit Paire, who ousted fifth-seeded Italian Andreas Seppi 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 in round one on Day 3.

Meanwhile, a second-seeded del Potro, fresh off his title last week in Vienna, stayed hot with a 6-4, 6-1 opening-round victory over fellow South American Alejandro Falla of Colombia.

Del Potro stunned Federer in the 2009 U.S. Open final, but is a dismal 0-6 versus the Swiss legend this year.

Up next for "DelPo" will be American comeback kid Brian Baker on Thursday.

Also in the second round, third-seeded nifty Frenchman Richard Gasquet rolled past Swiss wild card Marco Chiudinelli 6-1, 6-4 and talented Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov outlasted Frenchman Julien Benneteau 7-6 (7-5), 6-7 (1-7), 7-6 (7-3).

In some other first-round action, Aussie Marinko Matosevic erased seventh- seeded German Florian Mayer 6-2, 6-3 and Frenchman Paul-Henri Mathieu handled Swiss fellow wild card Henri Laaksonen 6-2, 7-5.

The 2012 winner of this $1.84 million event will earn $440,000.

The Sports Network

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