Federer advances to Swiss Indoors final against del Potro

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BASEL, Switzerland — Roger Federer cruised past David Goffin 6-1, 6-2 in the Swiss Indoors semifinals on Saturday to reach an 11th straight final when playing at his hometown event.

The top-seeded Swiss will face Juan Martin del Potro on Sunday, after the fourth-seeded Argentine beat Marin Cilic 6-4, 6-4.

The final is a rematch of del Potro’s back-to-back Basel title wins over Federer in 2012 and ’13. The 19th-ranked del Potro also beat Federer in the U.S Open quarterfinals last month.

Federer clinched victory over third-seeded Goffin on his first match point when the Belgian sent a forehand service return long.

Del Potro fired an ace to seal his seventh straight victory over the second-seeded Cilic, who won at Basel last year when Federer was injured.

Federer is a seven-time champion at Basel and victory on Sunday will lift him into clear second place on the all-time title list in the 50-year professional era. The 36-year-old Swiss is tied on 94 with Ivan Lendl, behind Jimmy Connors who has 109.

Federer and del Potro are seeking to win a second straight tournament.

Federer also won the Shanghai Masters two weeks ago, where he beat del Potro in the semifinals.

Del Potro came to Basel direct from winning the Stockholm Open. With victory on Sunday, he will seal his place in the eight-player ATP World Tour Finals lineup in London next month.

Alcaraz loses to Goffin in 1st match as No. 1

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ASTANA, Kazakhstan — Carlos Alcaraz’s first match as the No. 1-ranked player ended with a straight-set loss to David Goffin at the Astana Open.

The 19-year-old Spaniard lost 7-5, 6-3 in his first tour match since winning the U.S. Open and capturing the No. 1 ranking.

“David was playing really, really well. To come back to competition is never easy,” Alcaraz said. “It’s really tough for me, for my confidence.”

Alcaraz came from 5-2 down to level the first set at 5-5, only to be broken again by his Belgian opponent.

“When you play against the World No. 1 on a big stage, big crowd, the fire inside gives you so much power to play your best tennis because you don’t have any choice,” Goffin said. “You have to fight and give your best and that was the case today.”

Second-seeded Daniil Medvedev and No. 3-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas both avoided similar upsets. Medvedev beat Albert Ramos-Vinolas of Spain 6-3, 6-1 and Tsitsipas ousted Kazakhstan’s Mikhail Kukushkin 6-3. 6-4.

Kasatkina knocks out Raducanu at Agel Open

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OSTRAVA, Czech Republic — Fifth-seeded Daria Kasatkina defeated 2021 U.S. Open champion Emma Raducanu 7-5, 6-4 to advance to the second round of the Agel Open.

Kasatkina was playing her first match since losing in the first round of the U.S. Open and will next face Ekaterina Alexandrova.

Sixth-seeded Belinda Bencic of Switzerland rallied to eliminate former top-five player Eugenie Bouchard of Canada 6-7 (7), 6-1, while Aliaksandra Sasnovich upset eighth-seeded Jelena Ostapenko 6-2, 6-2.

American qualifiers Alycia Parks and Catherine McNally both advanced. Parks upset Czech Karolina Pliskova 6-0, 7-6 (3) and McNally eased past Anna Blinkova 6-1, 6-2 at the indoor hardcourt event in the Czech eastern city of Ostrava.