Federer goes past big-serving Reynolds in Basel

October 22nd, 2008 - 2:06 pm ICT by IANS  

Roger FedererBasel, Oct 22 (DPA) Swiss Roger Federer got more of a battle than he expected as American underdog Bobby Reynolds made a match of it before going down 6-3, 6-7 (6-8), 6-3 to the top seed at the Swiss Indoors tennis.Federer, who is bidding to lift his third consecutive title at the St. Jakobshalle, claimed the first-round result in one hour, 50 minutes on his fourth match point, after missing on 10 of 12 break point chances here Tuesday.

“I didn’t really have so much time to get used to conditions,” said the local hero who came in from a Madrid semi-final loss to Andy Murray at the weekend.

“I was only able to hit here for two hours in practice.”

The pair fired 32 aces between them with the Swiss player accounting for 17 against the uncelebrated number 86.

“He served very well and hit the corners,” said Federer. “It was tough to read his serve. I’m just glad to go through.”

Reynolds, winner of five Challenger titles, played above his level to save three break points in the ninth game of the second set and then hold off Federer who rallied from 1-5 down in the ensuing tiebreaker.

After saving a Federer match point in the decider, Reynolds took it into a third set, where it still took Federer three more match points to secure the win.

Federer will take Wednesday evening off to attend the Champions League group match between his local FC Basel club and Barcelona, being played just across the street.

Second seed and former winner David Nalbandian pronounced himself pleased with a 6-4, 6-2 victory over Spain’s Albert Montanes, now 0-4 in Basel.

“I played well, but it was not my best tennis in the first set,” said the South American. “I’m concentrating on Davis Cup but there are still a few weeks to go (November 21-23 in Mar del Plata).”

Nalbandian has no interest in trying to make a late qualifying run for the season-ending Masters Cup in Shanghai, where he stands a distant provisional 17 for one of three remaining spots in the eight-men field.

“I don’t think about the ranking points, I just try to play my best tennis every time I go onto the court. There is plenty of time to prepare for Davis Cup.”

Nalbandian is competing in Basel for the seventh time and stands 19-4, after reaching two more finals after his 2002 title.

The Argentine has had a good start to the autumn indoor season, winning the Stockholm trophy and slipping in the third round last week in Madrid where he was defending a title, as he lost to Davis Cup team mate Juan Del Potro.

Del Potro, the form player of the late season with four titles claimed in a row, beat Swiss qualifier George Bastl 6-2, 6-4.

Italian Simone Bolelli earned the first upset result, putting out Czech seventh seed Tomas Berdych 6-4, 7-5.

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