Roger Federer was given a fright before reaching the semi-final of the inaugural Istanbul Open on Friday, eventually beating Spain’s Daniel Gimeno-Traver 7-6(3) 6-7(5) 6-3.
The Swiss world number two, the top draw at the new clay court event, needed two hours 28 minutes to set up a semi-final against eighth seed Diego Schwartzman.
Federer, who was photographed on the ATP website visiting some of the city’s many attractions, is clearly a fan, even if he was not completely happy with his form.
“They were perfect playing conditions today,” the 17-times grand slam champion said.
“Almost no wind, beautiful sunshine; not to hot, not too cold. “Just because it’s nice weather doesn’t mean you’re going to play nice. I wish it was like that, but it’s not as simple as that. It was a good fight today.”
Andy Murray’s hopes of playing in Munich were dashed, however, as the last-16 matches on Friday were rained off.
The Scot could have to play three matches on Saturday: two singles clashes, plus the semi-finals of the doubles alongside Jean-Julien Rojer.
There were no such problems in Istanbul, however, where Argentine Schwartzman won only seven points in a dreadful opening set against Colombia’s fourth seed Santiago Giraldo before triumphing 0-6 6-2 6-2.
Second seeded Bulgarian Grigor Dmitrov eased into the semis with a straightforward defeat of Croatian Ivan Dodig and will face Pablo Cuevas on Saturday.
Organisers will no doubt be hoping for a Federer/Dimitrov showdown on Sunday as the tournament tries to establish itself on the ATP Tour.
Meanwhile at ATP Estoril, Nick Kyrgios beat Robin Haase 6-3 6-4 to make the semi-finals.
Results – Istanbul Open
3-Pablo Cuevas (Uruguay) beat Thomaz Bellucci (Brazil) 7-5 6-3
2-Grigor Dimitrov (Bulgaria) beat Ivan Dodig (Croatia) 6-4 6-3
1-Roger Federer (Switzerland) beat Daniel Gimeno-Traver (Spain) 7-6(3) 6-7(5) 6-3
8-Diego Schwartzman (Argentina) beat 4-Santiago Giraldo (Colombia) 0-6 6-2 6-2
Guillermo Garcia-Lopez (Spain) beat Borna Coric (Croatia) 6-3 7-6(4)
7-Nick Kyrgios (Australia) beat Robin Haase (Netherlands) 6-3 6-
4 Pablo Carreno (Spain) beat 8-Gilles Muller (Luxembourg) 6-2 6-4
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