Unstoppable Federer storms into 15th Basel quarter-finals
Roger Federer reached the Basel quarter-finals for the 15th time yesterday morning (Singapore time) when he steamrolled Frenchman Benoit Paire 6-1, 6-3 as the top seed stepped up his campaign for an eighth Swiss Indoors title.
Federer defeated Paire for the fifth time without a loss, mowing down the challenger in just 57 minutes in front of a sympathetic audience at the St Jakobshalle.
The 36-year-old Federer, winner of his last event in Shanghai this month, is seeking an ATP-leading seventh trophy this season as he aims for the weekend final in his hometown.
"I'm happy with how it went, I'm always ready for a tougher one," Federer said. "I got a good start, got rolling.
"I was able to put more pressure on him than him on me. I've had a good two first rounds. I thought the draw looked tough with (Francis) Tiafoe and Paire in my section. I'm a little surprised, to be honest.
"It's not easy to win one and three indoors, this was a great start."
The Swiss ripped through the opening set and piled on more pressure in the second after Paire took a massage treatment on his back after losing the opener.
World No. 2 Federer remained in command as he broke Paire to love in the seventh game, with the French player sending down his second double fault to drop the game.
Federer made it a comfortable 5-3, with Paire sending a return well wide.
The 19-time Grand Slam champion earned a match-point in the ensuing game, which his opponent saved with a service winner.
But Federer didn't relent, his smash setting up a second match-winner followed by an untouchable forehand down the line to end the evening.
Federer next faces French seventh seed Adrian Mannarino in a match scheduled to take place this morning.
The other quarter-final fixtures see Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut take on Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina, Hungary's Marton Fucsovics face Marin Cilic of Croatia, and Belgian David Goffin battle American Jack Sock.- AFP