Swiss Open: Roger Federer survives Gilles Simon scare to reach semi-finals
Roger Federer survived a scare against Gilles Simon before fighting his way into the semi-finals with a 7-6 (7/1), 4-6, 6-4 victory over the Frenchmen in his hometown’s Swiss Indoors tournament on Friday.
The 37-year-old, aiming for a ninth title at his home event, needed two and a half hours to overcome the gritty opponent and claim his 18th consecutive victory.
It was early trouble for the World No.3 when he fell 5-2 behind. But Federer fought back to make it 5-5 and then saved set points to level at 6-6 with an ace.
From there Federer really set the tone of the match in the tiebreaker, where the Swiss man raced to a 5-1 lead before earning the set after an hour of hard-fight when Simon erred his backhand wide. Federer though was fortunate to win the set even after making nearly 30 unforced errors.
But as he seems to be recovering from a near upset, the 32nd ranked Simon brought out his best to level the match 1-1. The second set produced five breaks of serve – only two to Federer – before Simon struck the winner.
Federer was, however, back to his best in the final set where he broke the second game to go 4-2 ahead. But Simon once again fought back to make it 4-all. But two unforced errors in a row handed Federer the match.
“I’m always happy when I win, I’m happy I fought through like this,” said Federer after the victory. “There were a lot of breaks, it was all up and down. But I kept my cool and got the job done. I feel good right now.”
Earlier, second seed Alexander Zverev hit a dozen of aces to reach the semis with a 7-5, 6-3 victory over Roberto Bautista Agut.