10/25/12 5:04 PM | Ricky Dimon
Roger Federer holds off Thomaz Bellucci in three competitive sets on Wednesday in Basel. Federer is through to a quarterfinal meeting with either Benoit Paire or Lukasz Kubot.
Roger Federer survived a scare in the second round of the Swiss Indoors Basel on Wednesday, edging Thomaz Bellucci 6-3, 6-7(6), 7-5. Federer needed two hours and three minutes to book a place in the quarterfinals.
The were just two breaks in the entire match and only one in the first two sets. Federer saved two break points to make it stand up in the opener, but neither man saw any opportunities in the second. Despite squandering all of a 6-2 lead in the ensuing tiebreaker, Bellucci somehow recovered and capitalized on his fifth set point when Federer shanked a backhand at 6-7.
The decider seemed to be on course for another 'breaker, with both players holding serve without too much trouble. Under serious pressure at 5-6, however, Bellucci cracked. A flurry of backhand errors by the Brazilian handed Federer an easy break, and with it, the match.
“He’s a good player," Federer said of Bellucci. "He has a good serve, good intensity and good decision-making from the baseline. I think he’s got some good power and usually plays well against the better players.
"It was a close match today and I’m happy I came through. He had many chances on my serve. It was intense. I think I struggled on the return. I’m not too happy with my returning, but then again, he was a lefty and it was a change."
The five-time champion will hope for a more convincing performance on Friday against either Benoit Paire or Lukasz Kubot.
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