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Federer into Basel quarter-finals, Bastl out

Federer now has his eyes on the quarter-finals Keystone

Switzerland's Roger Federer has qualified for the quarter-finals of the Swiss Indoors tennis tournament in his home town of Basel. But George Bastl's title bid came to an end in the second round where he lost to Slovakia's Dominik Hrbaty.

Federer faced some difficult moments in his second round match against Romania’s Andrei Pavel, who is currently seven places above Federer in the world rankings.

It took a tie-break to separate the two players in the opening set. The 19-year-old Swiss number one survived though, playing a wonderful lob and smash to win the tie-break 7-4.

Having taken the lead, Federer approached the second set with increased confidence, breaking the Romanian in the fifth game. The advantage was enough to ensure a Swiss victory with Federer holding his own service games to win the match 7-6 (7-4), 6-4.

Federer is hoping to become the first Swiss winner in Basel since the current Davis Cup captain Jakob Hlasek, who took the title in 1991. The teenager’s chances were further helped on Thursday when another seed was knocked out of the tournament.

Ecuador’s Nicolas Lapentti suffered a surprise straight sets defeat after losing two tie-breaks to the French qualifier Nicolas Thomann. Federer will now meet Thomann, ranked 184th in the world, in the quarter-finals.

Bastl meanwhile could offer little resistance to the hard-hitting Hrbaty who romped through the first set 6-2. The Swiss number three managed to take the Slovakian to a tie-break in the second set, and even led 5-2.

But Hrbaty fought back to take what was in the end a well-deserved victory, and a result which increased the pressure on Federer, who is now the last Swiss player in contention.

swissinfo with agencies

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR