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Federer avenges Olympic defeat

Federer downed Haas in straight sets

(Keystone)

Switzerland's Roger Federer has reached the second round of the Basel indoor tennis tournament, after beating Germany's Tommy Haas in straight sets.

Federer's well-deserved victory will have tasted doubly sweet, coming in front of a supportive hometown crowd and against the man who ended Federer's hopes of Olympic glory this summer.

Beaten comfortably by Haas in the Sydney semi-finals, Federer never seemed in danger of suffering the same fate in Basel on Tuesday. Despite being broken in the very first game of the match, the Swiss number one bounced back to take the second.

The next three games went with serve but at 3-2 Federer took control. Playing calm and assured tennis he wrested three break points from Haas, needing only one to take a 4-2 lead.

Federer's resolve was apparent in the next game which he wrapped up with two aces. Haas held his own serve to stay in the set, but strong attacking play by Federer saw the Swiss number one take the first set 6-3.

The second set looked more likely to end in a tie-break as the first six games went with serve, but in the seventh game Federer made a decisive breakthrough. After coming back from 40-0 down, Federer broke Haas to take a 4-3 lead.

Having only to hold his service games to win the match, Federer won the next game to love. With Haas now serving to stay in the match, Federer again opted for an aggressive style.

Rewarded with two match points, the rising Swiss star watched as his German opponent double faulted to concede a 6-3, 6-3 defeat.

Having beaten Haas, Federer was able to contemplate a potential path to the final which no longer includes the tournament's top seed Magnus Norman. Shortly before the match between Federer and Haas, the world number four announced his withdrawal from the competition because of a back injury.

Instead of his expected encounter with Norman in the second round, Federer will now play Romania's Andrei Pavel who defeated Stéphane Huet of France on Wednesday, 7-5, 6-4.

In other tennis news, Geneva's Marc Rosset defeated Russia's Andrei Chersakov in the first round of the Kremlin Cup in Moscow, 6-2, 6-4. In the women's doubles event, Martina Hingis teamed up with Russia's Anna Kournikova to down Sabine Appelmans of Belgium and Sonya Jeyaseelan of Canada, 6-2, 6-0.

Finally, at the Slovak indoor tournament in Bratislava, Switzerland's Emmanuelle Gagliardi lost to the top seed, France's Anne-Gaelle Sidot, 6-3,6-4.

swissinfo with agencies


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