Basel - Top seed Roger Federer stayed on
course for a seventh title at his home tournament in Basel but was given a
slight scare by David Goffin as he prevailed 6-3 3-6 6-1 on Friday to reach the
Swiss Indoors semi-finals.
Third seed Rafa Nadal was given a stern
examination but eventually fought back to shake off Marin Cilic 4-6 6-3 6-3 to
also make the last four as a potential final showdown with old rival Federer
The Spaniard will play number five seed
Richard Gasquet next after the Frenchman beat Ivo Karlovic of Croatia 6-4
6-7(2) 7-6(6) to keep alive his outside hopes of making next month's World Tour
Finals in London involving this year's best eight players.
Federer's semi-final opponent on Saturday
will be Jack Sock after the American overcame compatriot Donald Young 5-7 6-4
The Swiss was knocked out of his last
tournament in Shanghai in his opening match but has been on decent form back home.
The first set against Goffin flew by with
Federer at his clinical best, taking the one break point on offer while saving
two on his serve with some sumptuous shots mixed with the careless errors that
have crept into his game in recent years.
The Belgian thoroughly deserved to level in
the second and Federer had to shift gears to race through the final set, with
the extra backing of his home crowd a definite factor.
Injury-plagued Nadal, who only managed one
winner to Cilic's 12 in a first set dominated by a disputed line call, has
endured a poor season by his standards but wants to end the year with a bang at
the Tour Finals.
The Spanaird's battling Basel performances
suggest his best is not far away, although he is not there yet.
Cilic sent down nine aces to Nadal's one
while the rest of their statistics were relatively well-matched, Nadal only
winning thanks to his age-old trick of wearing down his opponent from the
baseline in his third straight three-setter.