• Hamburg Open

Federer sees off Mayer challenge

ESPN staff
July 19, 2013
Roger Federer is using a new racket at the Hamburg Open © AP

Roger Federer edged into the Hamburg Open semi-finals with a 7-6(4) 3-6 7-5 victory over a dogged Florian Mayer.

The Swiss, who is playing in his first tournament since suffering a shock second round exit at Wimbledon, was on court for just less than two hours as he continued his hunt for a second ATP World Tour title of the season.

The German proved a stiff challenge for Federer, who had not lost a set to the world No. 45 in their previous four meetings.

Federer took a tight opening set on the tie-break but was immediately pegged back in the second. With neither player giving an inch in the third, Federer squandered the chance of an early break in the third before finally finishing Mayer off in the 11th game.

Federer is a four-time champion in Hamburg, but is playing for the first time at the tournament since 2008.

The No. 1 seed will now face qualifier Federico Delbonis for a place in the final after the Argentinean completed a surprise 6-7(5) 7-6(8) 6-4 victory over Fernando Verdasco.

Elsewhere, third seed Nicolas Almagro overcame Juan Monaco 4-6 6-0 6-3, hitting 22 aces on his way to a semi-final spot.

Almagro will meet Fabio Fognini next after the Italian completed a straight sets victory over veteran Tommy Haas.

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