Federer beats Karlovic in three-setter

Updated: 25 February 2007 09:07 IST

Top-ranked Roger Federer won a three-set match against Croatian Ivo Karlovic for the second time in two weeks to reach the quarterfinals of the Swiss Open.

Federer beats Karlovic in three-setter

Switzerland :

Top-ranked Roger Federer won a three-set match against Croatian Ivo Karlovic for the second time in two weeks to reach the quarterfinals of the Swiss Open. In a battle of master servers, Federer prevailed 6-7 (7/5) 6-3 7-6 (7/4) on the red clay high in the Swiss Alps. "He is one of the best two servers in the world," Federer said. "It was very difficult on his service game because there were very few chances open to me. In his case, it's not only his first serve you need to worry about, but also his second." Federer had also struggled to beat the 6-foot-10 Croatian 6-3 7-6 (7/3) 7-6 (7/5) in their fourth-round match at Wimbledon last week en route to his second straight title. Winning streak continues In the opening set, neither had a break point. Federer relied on well-placed service shots and irreproachable physical conditioning, while Karlovic used his serve, which reached 213 kph, to score several aces. In the tiebreak, the pair exchanged breaks before returning to serve at 4-4. It was Federer who finally succumbed on his own service game at 5-5, distracted by a helicopter flying overhead. Leading 6-7, Karlovic closed out the set with one of his 15 aces in the match. Federer, looking disgruntled and determined after his opening-set loss, finally managed to handle the Croatian's serve and earned the first break of the match to lead 3-2. The Swiss held serve the rest of the set to even the match. Crucial setIn the final set, again both methodically marched to the tiebreak, where a remarkable service return gave Federer a 5-3 lead. He held serve for the last two points for the victory. The win was Federer's 23rd in his last 25 matches, including three titles: Hamburg and Halle, both in Germany, as well as Wimbledon. Federer, who won his 24th consecutive match on grass in Sunday's Wimbledon final, is making his seventh appearance in Gstaad but is still seeking his first tournament title in his native country. Karlovic's best performance on clay came at the Masters Series Rome, where he defeated Tommy Haas and Tommy Robredo before falling to Carlos Moya in the round of 16. Still a long way to go The Swiss was scheduled to meet the winner of another rain-delayed second-round match between countryman Marc Rosset and Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic. Rosset led Stepanek 6-4 2-3 when their match was interrupted by rain last evening and rescheduled for today. The Swiss, who was given a wild card to enter the tournament, is 2-6 on clay at the Challenger level this year. (AP)



Topics : Tennis
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