DUBAI: Roger Federer was made to work hard by Fernando Verdasco before beating the Spanish veteran 6-3 3-6 6-3 on Wednesday to reach the quarter-finals of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.
Federer, who is looking to claim his 100th ATP title, was dragged to three sets for the second time in as many rounds but came through in the decider for his 50th victory in Dubai.
“Even though I wasn’t playing my best, I still felt like it was going to fall my way when it really mattered,” said Federer, who could become the second man in the Open Era to win 100 titles after Jimmy Connors (109).
“I think that confidence is important. I’m happy I had it today… I played good at the end. I had the serve when I needed it, had some good shots… that was nice to win it that way.”
The 20-times Grand Slam champion next faces Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics who beat Jan-Lennard Struff 6-4 6-2.