In his first meeting against Daniel Gimeno-Traver, Roger Federer battled hard to pull out a three set victory in nearly two and a half hours in Istanbul. The Swiss maestro edged out in front with an opening set tiebreak to his favor, but quickly found himself down a break in the second set. Gimeno-Traver held firm throughout, gripping the baseline and willing to grind out long rallies on the red clay on Goranti Koza Arena.
Down 2-5 in the second set, the 33-year-old Swiss battled back, forcing a tiebreaker. He would be denied however, as Gimeno Traver evened the match after Federer netted a slice backhand return.
Federer would dig out of a love-40 hole in the first game of the final set, then keeping one game ahead on serve. In the eighth game, the Swiss fired a backhand return down the line, following it up with a backhand drop volley winner to earn the pivotal break. He then served out the match with a service winner, advancing to the TEB BNP Paribas Istanbul Open semifinals, 7-6 (3) 6-7 (5) 6-3. Federer will face Diego Schwartzman Saturday at 3:30pm local time (8:30am EDT/5:30am PDT).