Roger Federer labored for three sets for a second day in a row at the Istanbul Open. A day after battling past Gimeno-Traver, the Swiss maestro persevered past Diego Schwartzman in a tight third set. The small Argentinian got off to a fast start, taking the opening set 6-2.
Not a sloppy start but not lively enough, Federer sparked a turnaround in the second set with a difficult backhand overhead in the opening game. The 33-year-old Swiss would cruise in a reversal of scores, evening the match with a 6-2 set of his own.
The third set stayed on serve, almost certain to be decided in a tiebreaker. Despite Schwartzman’s tough groundstrokes and grit, Federer managed to make a push up 5-4, opening the opportunity in the next game. The Swiss broke in the final game to advance to Sunday’s final, 2-6 6-2 7-5. He will face Pablo Cuevas, who upset Grigor Dimitrov in the second semifinal, 6-2 6-4.
Federer is seeking his 85th ATP World Tour title in his 128th career final.