Basel, Switzerland – Swiss icon and hometown hero Roger Federer and hot Argentine star Juan Martin del Potro notched quarterfinal victories Friday at the Swiss Indoors tennis event.
The world No. 1 Federer blew past helpless Frenchman Benoit Paire 6-2, 6-2 on the indoor hardcourts at St. Jakobshalle. The predictable affair was over in 54 minutes, as Federer held his high-quality serve throughout.
The Wimbledon champion Federer's semifinal opponent on Saturday will be another Frenchman, the capable but oft-injured Paul-Henri Mathieu.
Federer beat Japan's Kei Nishikori for a second straight and fifth overall Basel title a year ago. The Swiss great also claimed championships here from 2006-08 and is a three-time Swiss Indoors runner-up (2000, 2001, 2009).
Meanwhile, fresh off his title in Vienna last week, the second-seeded del Potro continued his winning ways by overcoming South Africa's Kevin Anderson 3-6, 7-6 (7-3), 6-2. Anderson out-aced del Potro by a lopsided 20-2 margin, but the South African also misfired for six double faults and recorded only one service break, compared to two for the former U.S. Open champion.
If del Potro and Federer can both reach the final this week, it would mark their seventh meeting of the year, with the towering Argentine still seeking his first win. "DelPo" stunned Federer in the 2009 U.S. Open finale.
The formidable del Potro will face third-seeded Frenchman Richard Gasquet in Saturday's semifinals. Gasquet got past sixth-seeded Russian veteran Mikhail Youzhny 6-2, 7-6 (7-5) on Day 5.
Also on Friday, the wild card Mathieu held off talented Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov 7-6 (7-2), 7-6 (7-4) to reach the final four.
The 2012 winner of this $1.84 million event will earn $440,000.