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BASEL, Switzerland – Roger Federer worried his hometown fans before beating Denis Istomin 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 Wednesday in the second round of the Swiss Indoors.
Federer conceded a set for the first time in five matches against the 48th-ranked Uzbek and rallied from 0-40 down in his first service game in the third.
The seventh-ranked Federer converted his first match point with an angled backhand volley.
Top-seeded Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina eased past Swiss wild card Henri Laaksonen, 6-4, 6-4.
Federer is looking for a strong finish to the most difficult season of his career. His chances of qualifying for the ATP World Tour Finals in London improved when Richard Gasquet lost 6-4, 6-2 to fellow Frenchman Michael Llodra.