Leading seeds move through into all-star Basel weekend

Saturday, November 6, 2010

BASEL - Roger Federer faces longtime US rival Andy Roddick while Serbs Novak Djokovic and Viktor Troicki tune up for the December Davis Cup final as three top-10 players figure in semi-final play at the Swiss Indoors tennis.

Top seed Federer, stripped of his home trophy in 2009 by Djokovic after three consecutive titles, will face off holding a 19-2 record against fourth seed Roddick.

The Swiss came home another easy winner in just one hour in his quarter-final Friday over Czech Radek Stepanek 6-3, 6-2.

“It is always tough playing Andy,” Federer said. “He is much better than the record against me shows. Indoors he’s especially dangerous with his big serve. I’ll have to keep my level high if I’m going to win.”

The US player is among six men making a run at one of three spots remaining in the season-ending final later in the month in London. Federer has beaten Roddick in three Wimbledon finals and started out the series with the American with a 2001 win in Basel.

“You know that when you play Roger, you are well into the tournament,” number nine Roddick said. “As a competitor, you want to play against the best.”

Djokovic improved his record in Basel to a perfect 8-0 with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Robin Haase. The second seed spent just under 75 minutes in sending out the number 66.

Troicki, a prime candidate for Serbia’s Davis Cup squad to play the December 3-5 final in Belgrade against France, won a possible preview of that big event through his defeat of Frenchman Richard Gasquet 6-4, 6-2.

“I’m playing well here,” Djokovic said. “But it will be difficult to repeat what I accomplished here at the end of 2009. Viktor is playing at the top of his game, perhaps the best tennis of his career.”

Djokovic, who followed up a US Open finals loss to Rafael Nadal with a second straight title in Beijing, is working hard on his focus as the end of another marathon season nears.

“It’s long and very demanding, but not just for me - for all top players,” the world number three said.

“To be top player, you have to play consistently well throughout the year. We’re trying to work on the schedule and shorten the season by two weeks. Hopefully we will get a good outcome for 2012. The ATP understands the players a bit more now. We have better communication with them.”

Djokovic improved to 55-14 on the season as he moved into his match with his good friend.

will not be displayed