Federer into 17th Basel quarter-final

BASEL, Switzerland (AFP) – Roger Federer crushed Radu Albot 6-0, 6-3 on Wednesday to win his 22nd match in a row at the Swiss Indoors and earn a quarter-final place at his home event for the 17th time.

The nine-time champion was ruthless in a 22-minute opening set, finishing the entire job in 63 minutes in front of 9,000 fans.

He will face the winner from Stan Wawrinka and Frances Tiafoe, who both earned straight-set wins earlier in the day.

“It’s a super feeling to know exactly where the ball is going, what the other guy is doing,” said top seed Federer.

“I was hitting a lot of winners, those kind of moments are really rare.”

Federer’s Swiss compatriot Wawrinka fired 10 aces and 30 winners to overwhelm fellow veteran Pablo Cuevas 6-3, 6-4 to make it into the second round, keeping alive his outside chances of making the ATP Finals.

Federer, who is playing in Basel for the 19th time, won his first set to love at the tournament since 2006.

His loss of just three games on Wednesday was his most powerful showing on the ATP since beating Andreas Seppi at the Paris Masters 6-1, 6-1 four years ago.

“I’m very happy, it was important to start the second set with a break,” said 38-year-old Federer.

“Even though I was playing well, I was not over-confident, I was always worried that he might make a comeback.”

If Wawrinka beats America’s Tiafoe in their second-round match later this week, the Swiss pair will clash in the quarters.

“I hope Stan goes through, I always enjoy playing him,” added Federer, who holds a 23-3 edge in the series against his close friend.

“I’m glad that he is back (from double 2017 knee surgeries).”