ISTANBUL (AP) Top-seeded Roger Federer rallied past Diego Schwarzman 2-6, 6-2, 7-5 to reach the Istanbul Open final after a near two-hour match on Saturday.
Federer recovered from a sloppy start against the eighth-seeded Argentine to remain on course for an 85th title and third this year.
The 17-time Grand Slam winner will face third-seeded Pablo Cuevas in the final after the Uruguayan upset second-seeded Grigor Dimitrov 6-2, 6-4 at the clay-court tournament.
Article continues below ...
Cuevas, who is bidding for a fourth career title, converted five of his six break points against Dimitrov. He is unbeaten in finals, and will meet Federer for the first time.
Federer struggled with his serve during the first set but finally took advantage of Schwarzman’s mistakes to break him for a 3-1 lead in the second after wasting four break points and receiving a warning for hitting a ball toward the stands as his frustration showed.
Schwarzman, playing in his first ATP Tour semifinal, dropped his serve again in the eighth game when Federer unleashed a crosscourt backhand return.
Schwarzman put up strong resistance in the decider and saved a match point with a backhand down the line in the 10th game.
But the Argentine showed his nerves when serving to stay in the match two games later. He missed an easy forehand volley then handed Federer two match points with a forehand in the net. Federer converted the first one, and Schwarzman received a standing ovation as he left the court.
”He played very well, and people liked it, too,” Federer said.