Federer scrapes through
Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:58
The Swiss appeared to be cruising to victory when he took the first set 6-2, but his Latvian opponent battled back to win the second.
Federer held firm, however, to claim a 6-2 4-6 6-4 triumph and book a semi-final with Nikolay Davydenko, conqueror of Croatia’s Ivo Karlovic.
The Russian won 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (9-7) in an hour and 47 minutes, despite only serving three of the match’s 20 aces and squandering four match points.
World number two Rafael Nadal was handed an easy passage to the last four as opponent Steve Darcis pulled out when trailing 6-1 2-0 after 35 minutes of the pair’s quarter-final.
The Spaniard broke three times as he stormed through the opener, and dropping serve again in the second game of the second set was enough to persuade Darcis to call an end to his participation.
Fifth seed Viktor Troicki, who will be Nadal’s semi-final opponent, was made to work much harder as he came from a set down and finally shook off Poland’s Lucasz Kubot in a final-set tie-break.
Kubot prevailed 6-4 in an opening set featuring five breaks of serve, only for the Serbian to respond by the same scoreline – albeit via only a solitary break.
The pair each dropped serve twice as the third set went the distance, but Kubot ran out of steam at the last as Troicki prevailed 4-6 6-4 7-6 (7-1).