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Federer downs determined Suzuki to reach Japan Open semifinals

Federer downs determined Suzuki to reach Japan Open semifinals

Top-ranked Roger Federer rallied from a shaky start Friday to edge Japan's Takao Suzuki 4-6, 7-5, 7-6 (3) and advance to the Japan Open semifinals.
Struggling with his return, Federer at one stage trailed 3-1 in the first set to wild card Suzuki, who recently recovered from a shoulder injury and is playing in his first ATP tournament since the Australian Open in January.
Federer, who had 13 aces, finally found his rhythm in the second set and broke Suzuki for the first time in the final game after being down 30-love.
Suzuki, ranked 1,078th in the world, kept pace with Federer in the third set, holding serve in the 12th game to force the tiebreaker.
Federer, playing in his first tournament since winning the U.S. Open last month, has been inconsistent in his Japan debut.
The Swiss star struggled through his opening match against qualifier Viktor Troicki before returning to form in the third round Thursday with a convincing 6-2, 6-1 win over defending champion Wesley Moodie.
Earlier Friday, British No. 10 Tim Henman overcame a slow start to defeat Argentina's Juan Martin Del Potro 7-6 (3), 6-3 and advance to the quarterfinals.
Henman will face Croatia's Mario Ancic in the quarterfinals later Friday.
Henman has not reached a top tier tournament final since Indian Wells in 2004 and his ranking has dropped from a career-high No. 4 in 2002 to No. 55.
Third-seeded Ancic, who was the runner-up here last year, defeated Germany's Rainer Schuettler 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 in Friday's other third round match.
Rain Thursday caused 12 men's and women's matches to be postponed to Friday.


Updated : 2021-06-19 12:32 GMT+08:00