Roger Federer has booked his place in the final of the Inaugural TEB BNP Paribas Istanbul Open as he overcame a sloppy start to defeat the eighth seeded Argentine Diego Schwartzman in 1 hour and 55 minutes to prevail in three sets 2-6,6-2,7-5. He will look to lift his 85th career title and the third of the year as he faces Argentina born Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay in Sunday’s final. He also attempts to win a title in a 19th different country, viz. Turkey.
The top seeded Swiss dropped serve twice in the opening set against his 63rd ranked opponent and dropped his first set in their third career meeting. Once again his break point conversion rate let him down ( 3 of 11) but he recovered his composure to defeat a determined opponent who was playing his first ever tour level semi-final. Federer has won 10 titles on clay including the 2009 French Open and has a 84-43 record in finals. He is 20-3 in 2015 having won in Brisbane in January and Dubai in February.
The third seeded Cuevas ended the run of the second seeded Bulgarian Grigor Dmitrov as he converted on 5 out of the 6 break points to record a 6-2,6-4 win entering his second tour level final in 2015 improving his record to 15-7 for the year. He won the ATP 250 event in Sao Paolo, Brazil in February and has a perfect 3-0 record in tour level finals. The 23rd ranked Cuevas avenged his 0-6,3-6 loss to the 11th ranked Dmitrov at the BNP Paribas Indoors in 2014. Dmitrov fell to 14-8 in 2015 and failed on his promise to deliver in a tournament he had proclaimed would turnaround his fortunes.
Cuevas turned pro in 2004 and has won a French Open doubles title partnering Peruvian Luis Horna at Roland Garros in 2008. After the 2011 French Open he returned in 2013 after a two year injury layoff and in 2014 won the Swedish Open in Bastaad and the Croatian Open in Umag a week later, both on clay. He uses a single handed backhand like Federer and it would be a surprise if the legendary Swiss maestro is denied in what is the first career meeting between them.
– Rasesh Mehta [Rasesh Mehta is an analyst with the Tennis Galaxy.You can reach him at the email: firstname.lastname@example.org]