BASEL (Reuters) – Ruthless Roger Federer stayed on course for a 10th title at his hometown Swiss Indoor tournament in Basel, dropping only three games in crushing Moldova’s Radu Albot on Wednesday.
The 38-year-old, who has lost six games so far in the tournament, dispatched his hapless opponent in only 62 minutes winning the second-round match 6-0 6-3.
It was a 22nd consecutive win at the tournament for Federer who has won the title on the last four occasions he has taken part in Basel.
Albot gave Federer a tough time at the Miami Open earlier this year, losing in three sets in the second round, but offered little resistance this time.
“I really struggled against him in Miami and he definitely got my attention there. I was basically a point away from losing,” said Federer. “I think I learned a lot from that match.”
“I really respect Radu. He tries everything to win in a really tough and great and fair way. I’m very happy with the way I played. I had an answer for everything he threw at me today and that’s great.”
Federer’s fellow Swiss Stan Wawrinka comfortably beat Uruguay’s Pablo Cuevas 6-3 6-4 in the first round, hammering 30 winners and serving 10 aces along the way.
David Goffin, who had lost his previous three matches to Marin Cilic, ended that run with a 6-4 6-4 win in a first-round match. The Belgian is now a strong contender for one of the two remaining places at the end-of-season finals in London.
Goffin fired 11 aces, compared to four for the usually big-serving Cilic, and converted all three of his break points as he claimed his first win over the Croatian since 2016.
(Writing by Brian Homewood; editing by Clare Lovell)