Federer advances in Basel

Roger Federer battled past determined Uzbek Denis Istomin to keep alive his hopes of claiming the sixth Swiss Indoors title of his career in Basel on Wednesday.

 Roger Federer

The 32-year-old, who will also confirm his place at the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals if he wins the tournament, hit back from behind to triumph 4-6 6-3 6-2 in one hour and 51 minutes in the second-round clash.

Top seed Juan Martin Del Potro, who denied Federer that sixth crown in last year's final, started his defence with a surprisingly tricky 6-4 6-4 win over 21-year-old Swiss wild card Henri Laaksonen.

Fresh from his first career title in Stockholm last weekend, Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov started with a 6-3 6-3 win over Czech veteran Radek Stepanek.

Fifth seed Richard Gasquet was beaten 6-4 6-2 by fellow Frenchman Michael Llodra, and sixth seed Kei Nishikori also tumbled, beaten 6-1 6-2 by Ivan Dodig of Croatia.

There were also wins for Frenchman Paul-Henri Mathieu, 6-4 7-5 over fellow qualifier Denis Kudla, and Canadian Vasek Pospisil, who beat Dutchman Robin Haase 6-4 6-4.

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