Tomaz Bellucci once again had Roger Federer on the ropes but the Brazilian couldn’t do much more than win a set. Like an earlier encounter at Indian Wells, the lefty forced a third set against Federer before the Swiss prevailed 6-3, 6-7(6), 7-5 in the second round at Basel.
“He’s a good player. He has a good serve, good intensity and good decision making from the baseline,” said Federer. “It was a close match today and I’m happy I came through. He had many chances on my serve. It was intense. I think he’s got some good power and usually plays well against the better players.
“I think I struggled on the return,” he admitted. “I think I served smart. I played that part really well. I’m not too happy with my returning, but then again, he was a lefty and it was a change. Still, I would have hoped to have done a bit better.”
A five-time Basel champion, Federer has won 31 of his last 32 matches at the tournament. Next will be the winner of Paire-Kubot in the quarterfinals on Friday.
Richard Gasquet, who remains a serious contender for London especially with Paris next week, also advanced as did Grigor Dimitrov and Juan Martin Del Potro who won his first round match. Del Potro meets American Brian Baker Thursday.
In Valencia, after seeds Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Janko Tipsarevic withdrew yesterday due to injury, today the tournament lost two more top names. First John Isner fell to the diminutive David Goffin. Isner actually led by a break in the third when the Belgian almost suddenly broke the American twice to capture the win 7-6(2), 4-6, 6-4. The loss hurts Isner’s hope of qualifying for London. He’ll next a big result next week in Paris for any chance of extending his 2012 season.
Gilles Muller scored a nice upset knocking out Milos Roanic 7-5, 7-6. Like Isner, Raonic was also hoping to further his London bid. Marin Cilic and Ivan Dodig who beat Lleyton Hewitt were also winners.
AGORA start 1:00 pm
G Muller (LUX) vs A Dolgopolov (UKR)
M Granollers (ESP) vs G Simon (FRA)
 D Ferrer (ESP) vs A Ramos (ESP)
Not Before 8:00 PM
S Querrey (USA) vs  N Almagro (ESP)
M Klizan (SVK) / M Mertinak (SVK) vs  A Peya (AUT) / B Soares (BRA)
CENTRE COURT start 2:00 pm
[Q] L Kubot (POL) vs B Paire (FRA)
Not Before 4:00 PM
N Davydenko (RUS) vs [WC] P Mathieu (FRA)
Not Before 6:00 PM
B Baker (USA) vs  J Del Potro (ARG)
Not Before 8:00 PM
M Matosevic (AUS) vs K Anderson (RSA)
J Marray (GBR) / F Nielsen (DEN) vs  M Fyrstenberg (POL) / M Matkowski (POL)
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