Federer wins, Murray withdraws at Swiss Indoors
BASEL, Switzerland – Roger Federer advanced to the quarterfinals and Andy Murray withdrew because of an injury just before his first-round match at the Swiss Indoors on Wednesday.
Andy Roddick also advanced, using his serve to beat Tommy Haas of Germany 6-3, 6-4 in the late match. The seventh-seeded American had 12 aces and never allowed Haas a break point chance.
Federer, defending champion at his hometown event, dropped a set against Jarkko Nieminen of Finland for the first time in their 12 matches but came through 6-1, 4-6, 6-3.
"It was still a good match, I thought, for me to come through," said Federer, who is playing his tournament since the U.S. Open and served three straight double faults when broken in the second set. "It was due to my ups and downs that he got a chance."
Murray's injury left the third-seeded Swiss a clearer path to a possible final against top-ranked Novak Djokovic for a third straight year.
"I never saw (Murray) as a potential opponent anyway because I'm too focused on what I have to do," Federer said. "I am sure it is somewhat disappointing for the tournament director after going through all the headaches with the wild cards."
The second-seeded Murray of Scotland, who requested a late entry last week, pulled out of his match just before playing Robin Haase of the Netherlands because of a gluteal muscle strain. Murray had also been scheduled to pair up with brother Jamie in an evening doubles match.
Five of the current top-eight men were lined up in a tough main draw, but only Federer and Djokovic remain. Murray followed Mardy Fish of the United States in succumbing to injury, and Czech Tomas Berdych was ousted Tuesday by wild-card entry Kei Nishikori.
Sixth-seeded Janko Tipsarevic, like Fish on Tuesday, was hurt in his first-round match and retired.
Tipsarevic retired on serve while trailing Florian Mayer of Germany 5-1 in the first set. The Serb will have to reach at least the final in Paris next week if he's to qualify for the eight-man ATP World Tour Finals in London.
Roddick next plays Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic, who won 6-1, 6-3 against Santiago Giraldo of Colombia.
Murray's place in the singles draw was taken by lucky loser Marco Chiudinelli, a childhood friend of Federer, who lost 6-2, 7-6 (7) to Haase.
In a first-round match between two qualifiers, Lukasz Kubot of Poland beat Tobias Kamke of Germany, 5-7, 7-5, 6-2. The 61st-ranked Kubot will face Djokovic in the second round on Thursday.
Marcos Baghdatis advanced to the quarterfinals by defeating 327th-ranked Swiss qualifier Michael Lammer 7-6 (2), 6-7 (2), 6-3. The Cypriot is a likely crowd pleasing matchup for Djokovic on Friday.