Leading seeds move through into all-star Basel weekend

Basel (Switzerland) : Roger Federer faces longtime US rival Andy Roddick while Serbs Novak Djokovic and Viktor Troicki tune up for the December Davis Cup final as three top-10 players figure in semi-final play at the Swiss Indoors tennis.

Top seed Federer, stripped of his home trophy in 2009 by Djokovic after three consecutive titles, will face off holding a 19-2 record against fourth seed Roddick.

The Swiss came home another easy winner in just one hour in his quarter-final Friday over Czech Radek Stepanek 6-3, 6-2.

`It is always tough playing Andy,` Federer said. `He is much better than the record against me shows. Indoors he`s especially dangerous with his big serve. I`ll have to keep my level high if I`m going to win.`

The US player is among six men making a run at one of three spots remaining in the season-ending final later in the month in London. Federer has beaten Roddick in three Wimbledon finals and started out the series with the American with a 2001 win in Basel.

`You know that when you play Roger, you are well into the tournament,` number nine Roddick said. `As a competitor, you want to play against the best.`

Djokovic improved his record in Basel to a perfect 8-0 with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Robin Haase. The second seed spent just under 75 minutes in sending out the number 66.

Troicki, a prime candidate for Serbia`s Davis Cup squad to play the December 3-5 final in Belgrade against France, won a possible preview of that big event through his defeat of Frenchman Richard Gasquet 6-4, 6-2.

`I`m playing well here,` Djokovic said. `But it will be difficult to repeat what I accomplished here at the end of 2009. Viktor is playing at the top of his game, perhaps the best tennis of his career.`

Djokovic, who followed up a US Open finals loss to Rafael Nadal with a second straight title in Beijing, is working hard on his focus as the end of another marathon season nears.

`It`s long and very demanding, but not just for me - for all top players,` the world number three said.

`To be top player, you have to play consistently well throughout the year. We`re trying to work on the schedule and shorten the season by two weeks. Hopefully we will get a good outcome for 2012. The ATP understands the players a bit more now. We have better communication with them.`

Djokovic improved to 55-14 on the season as he moved into his match with his good friend.

Bureau Report