Federer flies through to set up possible Wawrinka clash

By Sports Desk October 23, 2019

Roger Federer brushed aside Radu Albot to remain on course for a 10th title at the Swiss Indoors Basel.

Having seen off Peter Gojowczyk in short order in the first round, the 20-time grand slam champion was similarly emphatic in eliminating Albot, who offered scarce resistance in a 6-0 6-3 rout.

Albot won only six points on serve as Federer took the first set in just 22 minutes, and the Moldovan then looked in danger of being condemned to a double bagel.

Federer won the first two games of the second before Albot belatedly got on the board as he finally held serve.

Success in that game was greeted with huge applause from an appreciative crowd, and Albot was able to see the humourous side of his struggle as he performed a bow for the spectators.

He took two further games to give the scoreline at least a modicum of respectability, but an unbelievable comeback was never on the cards.

Federer wrapped up the victory in 62 minutes, losing only 10 points on serve and hitting 32 winners to blow away the overmatched Albot.

The 38-year-old could next face compatriot Stan Wawrinka as Federer looks to claim his 23rd straight match win in his hometown in what will be his 17th quarter-final in 19 appearances at the tournament.

Wawrinka, who lost to Andy Murray in the final of the European Open last week, will face Frances Tiafoe on Thursday.

Related items

  • Martic bows out in Prague but Mertens progresses Martic bows out in Prague but Mertens progresses

    Second seed Petra Martic was eliminated from the Prague Open in a straight-sets defeat to Kristyna Pliskova, but Elise Mertens booked her place in the quarter-finals.

    World number 69 Pliskova struck 28 winners to 13 unforced errors on home soil as she secured a 6-1 7-5 victory in one hour and 22 minutes.

    The Czech wrapped up the opening set in just 21 minutes and Martic paid the price for passing up two opportunities to hold serve at 5-5 in the second.

    Pliskova, a runner-up in Prague in 2017, made Martic pay by serving out the match and setting up a meeting with Ana Bogdan, who got a walkover after Lesia Tsurenko withdrew prior to their match.

    Mertens ensured Simona Halep is not the only seed remaining in the draw by defeating Camila Giorgi 6-4 6-2, while, in matches held over from Tuesday, Laura Siegemund and Tamara Zidansek wasted little time in wrapping up three-set victories over Mayar Sherif and Katerina Siniakova respectively.

    It was not a day off for Halep, though. The Romanian joined forces with Barbora Strycova for a doubles match against Veronika Kudermetova and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova that ended in a 6-3 3-6 10-8 loss.

  • Serena to face Venus as Stephens' struggles continue Serena to face Venus as Stephens' struggles continue

    Serena Williams will face sister Venus in the Top Seed Open second round after contrasting wins on Tuesday.

    In action for the first time since the WTA Tour season was suspended in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, Serena edged past Bernarda Pera.

    The top seed at the WTA International event, Serena recorded a 4-6 6-4 6-1 victory after being five points from defeat.

    The 23-time grand slam champion raced through the final set, losing just seven points on serve to advance in Lexington.

    Awaiting Serena in the second round is Venus, who was too good for Victoria Azarenka 6-3 6-2.

    The sisters will meet for the 31st time, with Serena holding an 18-12 win-loss record over Venus.

    Sloane Stephens had endured a tough start to 2020 before the season was suspended, and the 2017 US Open champion suffered another loss.

    The seventh seed was well beaten by qualifier Leylah Fernandez 6-3 6-3 to slip to a 1-6 win-loss record this year.

    The only other seed in action was Yulia Putintseva, who brushed past Ajla Tomljanovic 6-0 6-4.

    Coco Gauff, 16, was pushed in her opener, overcoming Caroline Dolehide 7-5 7-5.

    CiCi Bellis, Shelby Rogers, Jil Teichmann, Anna Blinkova and Olga Govortsova also advanced.

  • Serena Williams makes winning return in three-set battle with Pera Serena Williams makes winning return in three-set battle with Pera

    Serena Williams needed three sets to defeat Bernarda Pera at the Top Seed Open on Tuesday in her first match since February.

    The 23-time grand slam singles champion came from a set down to beat her compatriot 4-6 6-4 6-1 in two hours and 16 minutes in Lexington.

    Williams' previous match was in the Fed Cup clash with Latvia in February, while she has not played a tournament match since January's Australian Open, the WTA Tour having been shut down since early match due to the coronavirus pandemic.

    World number 60 Pera broke in the fifth game and fought off two break points on her own serve before a thumping winner sealed the first set.

    Williams saw a 3-1 lead pegged back in the second and saved four break points to deny Pera the chance to serve for the match, but the 38-year-old found some of her famous fighting spirit to level the match after forcing a Pera error.

    She then made comparatively light work of the decider to set up a second-round clash with either Victoria Azarenka or sister Venus Williams.

    "I've been practicing really well and I wasn't getting a good rhythm out here, and I just kept thinking, 'Serena, play like you've been practicing'," she said afterwards.

    "I knew I could play a little bit better if I just hung in there.

    "I feel like I always play Venus first or second round, every tournament, so that's annoying. And I always play Vika early, so we'll see."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.