Istanbul Open: Federer needs 3 sets to advance to final
ISTANBUL — Top-seeded Roger Federer rallied past Diego Schwarzman 2-6, 6-2, 7-5 Saturday to reach the Istanbul Open final after a near two-hour match.
Federer recovered from a sloppy start against the eighth-seeded Argentine player to remain on course for an 85th title and third this year.
The 17-time Grand Slam winner will face either second-seeded Grigor Dimitrov or Pablo Cuevas in the final.
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, who played 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 22-year-old Argentine showed his nerves when serving to stay in the match two games later. He missed and 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.