10/26/12 9:03 PM | Ricky Dimon
Paul-Henri Mathieu takes out Grigor Dimitrov in two tiebreakers to reach the Basel semifinals on Friday. Mathieu awaits either Roger Federer or Benoit Paire.
Paul-Henri Matheiu held off Grigor Dimitrov 7-6(2), 7-6(4) in the quarterfinals of the Swiss Indoors Basel on Friday night. Mathieu needed exactly two hours to book a spot on semifinal Saturday.
Dimitrov got off to a fast start by breaking serve in the sixth game, but he failed to close things out with the set on his racket at 5-3. Mathieu eventually had all the momentum going into the first-set tiebreaker, having recovered from a 5-2 deficit before fighting off two set points at 5-6. It showed in the 'breaker, with the Frenchman earning an immediate mini-break for 1-0 and ultimately dominating it seven points to two.
In the second, it was Mathieu's turn to squander away a lead. The world No. 101 had benefited from an awful service game by his opponent midway through the set, but Mathieu did not come close to serving it out at 5-3.
Dimitrov managed to play his way into another tiebreaker only to once again buckle under the pressure. Mathieu earned consecutive mini-breaks at 5-4 and 6-4 to wrap up the proceedings.
The 21-year-old Bulgarian recorded 15 aces but he double-faulted six times. Mathieu struck two aces and five doubles while winning 84 percent of his first-serve points en route to a possible meeting with Roger Federer.
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