Federer rushed thru the first set before Nieminen fought back to even the match, only for the 4-time Basel champ to easily pull away with a break midway in the third set.
Still showing some rust from his six week layoff, Federer served three straight double faults. His serving overall improved, firing 10 aces vs 4 double faults. The difference was converting five of seven break point chances. With the win, Federer is thru to the quarterfinals, where he will await the winner of Roddick vs Stepanek.
Federer is likely to play Friday, again in the night session. Stay tuned for more as the match approaches.