Federer, Del Potro advance in Basel

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Updated: October 23, 2013

Basel, Switzerland (SportsNetwork.com) – Swiss icon and five-time champion
Roger Federer moved into the quarterfinals, while reigning champion Juan
Martin del Potro posted an opening-round victory Wednesday at the $1.955
million Swiss Indoors tennis event.

The top-seeded former U.S. Open champion del Potro handled Swiss wild card
Henri Laaksonen 6-4, 6-4 at St. Jakobshalle, where the Argentine upset
Federer in last year’s Basel finale.

The formidable Argentine del Potro’s second-round opponent on Thursday will be
former Australian Open runner-up Marcos Baghdatis, who was a Basel runner-up
back in 2005.

The third-seeded former world No. 1 Federer came from behind to win his
second-round match against Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, in 1
hour, 52 minutes on Day 3.

Federer is a nine-time Basel finalist, including the five titles. The current
world No. 8 is battling for a spot in the eight-player season-ending ATP World
Tour Finals in London next month.

Meanwhile, Michael Llodra ousted fifth-seeded fellow Frenchman Richard Gasquet
6-4, 6-2 in an opening-round affair, and a second-round upset came when
Croat Ivan Dodig humbled sixth-seeded 2011 Basel runner-up Kei Nishikori 6-1,
6-2. The U.S. Open semifinalist and world No. 9 Gasquet is still battling for
a spot in the ATP World Tour Finals. He was fresh off his title in Moscow last
week.

Hot Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov is seeking his second title in two weeks, as the
eighth seed reached the second round with a 6-3, 6-3 spanking of Czech veteran
Radek Stepanek. Dimitrov will meet Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov in the round
of 16.

The 22-year-old Dimitrov secured his first-ever ATP title in Stockholm last
week.

In some other first-round play, Canadian Vasek Pospisil vaulted past last
week’s Vienna runner-up Robin Haase 6-4, 6-4 and Frenchman Paul-Henri Mathieu
got past American fellow qualifier Denis Kudla 6-4, 7-5.

The 2013 Basel winner will earn $475,000.