Federer moves on; Murray pulls out in Basel
Basel, Switzerland – Swiss icon and Basel native Roger set second-round winner, while Andy Murray pulled out of the draw Wednesday at the $1.72 million Swiss Indoors Basel tennis event.
A third-seeded Federer booked his spot in the quarterfinals with a 6-1, 4-6, 6-3 victory over Finnish veteran Jarkko Nieminen, who also lost to Federer in the 2007 final in Basel. Federer hadn't lost a set against Nieminen in their previous 11 encounters until Wednesday.
The 2011 French Open runner-up Federer swatted 10 aces en route to a 1-hour, 35-minute victory.
The former world No. 1 Federer has won four of the last five titles in his hometown where he topped current No. 1 Novak Djokovic in last year's marquee finale in Basel. Djokovic upset Federer in the 2009 final here.
Meanwhile, the second-seeded Murray pulled out due to a right gluteal muscle strain and was replaced in the draw by Swiss Marco Chiudinelli. Murray was scheduled to meet Dutchman Robin Haase in an opening-round affair on Day 3 at St. Jakobshalle.
The 2011 Australian Open runner-up Murray headed to Basel having won his last three tournaments, all on the ATP's Asian swing. He's currently riding a 15-match overall winning streak.
Haase handled the lucky-loser Chiudinelli 6-2, 7-6 (9-7) on Wednesday.
The Basel field also lost its sixth seed, as rising Serb Janko Tipsarevic was trailing German Florian Mayer 1-5 in the first set of their opening-round match when Tipsarevic called it quits. Tipsarevic captured his first-ever ATP title in Kuala Lumpur last month and then titled again, in Moscow, later in October. He just reached the top 10 in the world rankings for the first time in his career this week (No. 10).
Former Aussie Open runner-up Marcos Baghdatis reached the round of eight with a 7-6 (7-2), 6-7 (2-7), 6-3 second-round victory over Swiss qualifier Michael Lammer. Baghdatis was a Basel runner-up in 2005.
In other first-round action, Czech veteran Radek Stepanek stifled Colombian Santiago Giraldo 6-1, 6-3.
The reigning U.S. Open, Wimbledon and Aussie Open champion Djokovic will play his second-round match here on Thursday against Pole Lukasz Kubot, a 5-7, 7-5, 6-2 come-from-behind winner against German and fellow qualifier Tobias Kamke on Wednesday.
The 2011 Basel champion will collect $450,000.