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Page last updated at 18:05 GMT, Saturday, 25 October 2008 19:05 UK

Federer eases past Lopez in Basel

Roger Federer
Federer is looking for his third straight title in Basel

Roger Federer took a step closer to winning his third Swiss Indoors title by beating Feliciano Lopez 6-3 6-2 in the semi-finals in Basel.

The home favourite will now face David Nalbandian in the final on Sunday after he beat Juan Martin del Potro 6-4 6-4 in an all-Argentine clash.

Federer beat Spain's Lopez by breaking in the sixth game of the first set and then twice more in the second.

"I feel great and I'm playing better as the days go by," said the top seed.

After losing the year-end world number one spot to Rafael Nadal, Federer revealed that his focus was on winning titles rather than ranking points.

"Often you're on the tour and you go week by week and you're like, `Oh my god, I've got quarter-final points to defend from last year', but now when I come into a Grand Slam I don't care if I have 1000 points to defend or 50," said Federer.

"I know the rankings are still an important factor but really it's about winning titles, being healthy and enjoying the tour."

Nalbandian was the last player to beat Federer at the US Open, back in 2003, before the Swiss began his run of five consecutive titles.


But buoyed by 15 aces in the match against Lopez, Federer will take a 9-8 head-to-head record into Sunday's final.

Nalbandian, meanwhile, avenged his straight-sets loss to Del Potro at the Madrid Masters last week despite losing his first service game.

But he came back to lead 4-2 in the opening set before breaking his opponent and taking his second set-point chance.

Nalbandian then broke in the third game of the second set when Del Potro's running forehand went out and saved a break point of his own, while leading 5-4, with a drop shot-forehand pass combination.

"I was the lucky one today, last week it was him," Nalbandian said. "I served almost perfect and I think that is why I won today."

Meanwhile, Sweden's Robin Soderling will play Julien Benneteau of France in Sunday's ATP final at the Lyon Grand Prix.

Soderling beat Gilles Simon 5-7 6-3 6-3, while Benneteau beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-6 (7-4) 7-5.

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