Federer breezes into semi-final of Swiss tournament

Top seed Roger Federer eased past Nicolas Kiefer 6-3 6-2 on Friday to secure a semi-final place in the Davidoff Swiss Indoors event.

Top seed Roger Federer eased past Nicolas Kiefer 6-3 6-2 on Friday to secure a semi-final place in the Davidoff Swiss Indoors event.

The defending champion made much lighter work of Kiefer than he had last Saturday in the Madrid semi-finals, when the world number one eventually prevailed 6-4 6-4.

Federer controlled the quarter-final from the outset to defeat German Kiefer for the ninth time in a row.

The result also gave Federer his 544th career victory, moving him into first place on the ATP active wins list ahead of Carlos Moya.

Federer still has plenty of work ahead of him if he hopes to challenge Jimmy Connors for the all-time wins record. The American racked up 1,225 victories during his career, which included 105 singles titles.

Federer’s semi-final opponent will be the unseeded Ivo Karlovic, who posted a 6-7 (5/7) 7-6 (7/2) 7-6 (15/13) upset against fifth seed Tomas Berdych.

The 6ft 10in Croat also upset number four seed James Blake in the second round.

Karlovic is having his best season on the ATP tour, having won three titles including the championship at Stockholm earlier this month.

Before he can think about a fourth, he will need to get the better of Federer, who has won all three matches he has played against Karlovic.

Neither player needs to worry about facing second seed Fernando Gonzalez, who was beaten by Finland’s Jarkko Nieminen 6-3 7-5 in Friday’s opening quarter-final.

Chilean Gonzalez won this event in 2005 and reached the final a year ago before running into Federer.

Nieminen, who has reached his third semi-final of the season, also upset sixth seed Guillermo Canas in the second round and his win over Gonzalez was his first in five career meetings.

The 26-year-old Nieminen is one win away from his first final since October 2006 in Stockholm. His only tour win came in January 2006 in Auckland.

Nieminen’s semi-final opponent will be Marcos Baghdatis, who also caused an upset in the last eight. The Cypriot ousted eighth seed Paul-Henri Mathieu of France 6-2 7-6 (7/5).

Baghdatis has won his last two meetings with Nieminen including a semi-final encounter in Marseille earlier this season.

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