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Federer sails into Basel semis

Federer celebrates after reaching his fifth semi-final of the year

(Keystone)

Swiss number one Roger Federer had few difficulties booking his place in the semi-finals of the Swiss Indoors tennis tournament on Friday. Playing in his hometown of Basel, the 19-year-old saw off French qualifier Nicolas Thomann in straight sets.

Ranked 184th in the world, Thomann had surprised many in reaching the quarter-finals, but his victory over world number 14 Nicolas Lapentti had suggested that Federer might have cause for concern.

But as the match got underway Federer showed himself to be in a higher class than his opponent, breaking the 28-year-old Frenchman early on in both sets.

Looking strong on his own service, Federer allowed Thomann just a single break point, which the young Swiss player successfully defended en route to an eventual 6-4, 6-4 victory.

Federer will now meet Australian teenager Lleyton Hewitt in Saturday's semi-final, a match which will mark the Swiss player's first ever appearance in the last four at Basel. It will be his fifth semi-final appearance of the year, following earlier good runs at Marseilles, Copenhagen, Vienna and the Sydney Olympics.

by Mark Ledsom



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