Federer survives tough test
Basel - Roger Federer advanced to the Swiss Indoors quarter-finals on Wednesday, while Andy Murray withdrew injured just before his first-round match.
Federer, defending the title at his hometown event, dropped a set against Jarkko Nieminen of Finland for the first time in their 12 matches but came through 6-1, 4-6, 6-3.
Murray's injury left the third-seeded Swiss a clearer path to a possible final against top-ranked Novak Djokovic for a third straight year.
The second-seeded Scot cited a right gluteal muscle strain ahead of playing Robin Haase of the Netherlands. Murray had also been scheduled to partner his brother Jamie in an evening doubles match.
Five of the current top-eight men originally lined up in a tough main draw, yet only Federer and Djokovic remain. Murray followed Mardy Fish of the United States in succumbing to injury, and Czech Tomas Berdych was ousted on Tuesday by wild-card entry Kei Nishikori.
Sixth-seeded Janko Tipsarevic, like Fish on Tuesday, retired hurt in his first-round match.
Tipsarevic retired while trailing Florian Mayer of Germany 5-1 in the first set. The Serb will have to reach at least the final in Paris next week if he is to qualify for the eight-man ATP World Tour Finals in London.
Seventh-seeded Andy Roddick of the United States faced Tommy Haas of Germany in the late match.
Murray's place in the singles draw was taken by lucky loser Marco Chiudinelli, a childhood friend of Federer, who lost 6-2, 7-6 (9/7) to Haase.
In a first-round match between two qualifiers, Lukasz Kubot of Poland beat Tobias Kamke of Germany, 5-7, 7-5, 6-2. The 61st-ranked Kubot will face Djokovic in the second round on Thursday.
Marcos Baghdatis also advanced to the quarter-finals after defeating 327th-ranked Swiss qualifier Michael Lammer 7-6 (7/2), 6-7 (2/7), 6-3. The Cypriot is a likely crowd pleasing matchup for Djokovic on Friday.
Results on Wednesday from the Swiss Indoors at St Jakobshalle (seedings in parentheses):
Florian Mayer, Germany, def. Janko Tipsarevic (6), Serbia, 5-1, retired.
Lukasz Kubot, Poland, def. Tobias Kamke, Germany, 5-7, 7-5, 6-2.
Robin Haase, Netherlands, def. Marco Chiudinelli, Switzerland, 6-2, 7-6 (9/7).
Roger Federer (3), Switzerland, def. Jarkko Nieminen, Finland, 6-1, 4-6, 6-3.
Marcos Baghdatis, Cyprus, def. Michael Lammer, Switzerland, 7-6 (7/2), 6-7 (2/7), 6-3.
For gorgeous gifts at gorgeous prices, click here for the ultimate Christmas gift guide from Clicks.