Vintage Federer, Venus into finals
ROGER Federer and Juan Martin del Potro have cruised to straight-sets semi-final wins at the Swiss Indoors to set up their third career final in Basel.
Federer saw off Belgian David Goffin 6-1 6-2 in a tick over an hour to earn a place in his 13th final in his hometown event.
The world No.2 will face Del Potro at the St Jakobshalle, with the Argentine winning both previous meetings in 2012 and 2013.
Del Potro beat Marin Cilic 6-4 6-4, his seventh in a row against the Croatian. After being taken to three sets in the quarter-finals by France's Adrian Mannarino, top seed Federer resumed normal service on Saturday.
"I'm happy I was able to turn it around today," Federer said.
"Everything changed completely in this match, I had a better mindset, I wanted to take it to the opponent.
"I"m happy I could keep the pressure on him today."
Federer will be seeking an eighth home trophy and seventh of the season. The Swiss is yet to decide if he will play next week in the ATP regular-season ending Paris Masters.
Argentine Del Potro is hoping to complete his Basel trophy hat-trick on Sunday against hometown hero Federer.
"Not many players can beat Roger, the greatest in history," Del Potro said.
"It's always a pleasure to play him, and to do it in his hometown is amazing.
"I'm happy to be in the final, I hope to play good tennis for the fans and for myself." Del Potro admits he is feeling the weight of three straight weeks of tennis, with a fourth on the way as he plays next week in Paris.
"I'm tired and that is a little bit of a factor, but the only way to play Roger is to be aggressive all the time. Sometimes, even that is not enough to beat him," he said.
Del Potro is bidding to force his way into next month's ATP Finals in London with Federer not buying stories that Del Potro is run down or injured. "He may be tired and have some (minor) issues but none that will keep him out of the final," he said.
"I'll be ready for a difficult match against an almost fully-fit Del Potro.
VENUS REACHES SINGAPORE FINAL
Venus Williams will be looking to continue her dominance over Caroline Wozniacki when the two meet in the final of the year-end WTA event in Singapore on Sunday.
Wozniacki will face her nemesis with the Billie Jean King Trophy up for grabs after Williams knocked out Frenchwomans Caroline Garcia 6-7 (3-7) 6-2 6-3.
She has never beaten Williams in seven attempts and has only won a set once.
The first four of those matches occurred when Wozniacki was a teenager and they last met in Miami in 2015.
"I haven't played her in ages. I have to gauge how it goes and try to figure out the solution," Williams said.
In the match against Garcia, Williams had a comeback victory in two hours and 29 minutes, her second lengthy match of the tournament.
Williams survived a set point in the first set and eventually forced it to a tiebreak.
Garcia got off to a hot start, winning the first three points and Williams did rally briefly in the middle of the tiebreak but Garcia held on to win the set.
Garcia did not carry on that momentum into the second, losing the first three games to Williams.
That proved to be a bridge too far for the Frenchwoman and she never really threatened in the second set.
After an even start in the third set, Williams stepped up the pace and Garcia was not able to go with her, with Williams taking the set and the match.
Garcia said her loss on Friday to Simona Halep took a lot out of her.
"I was missing a little bit of energy in the second and third set. I mean, it was very intense," she said.
The match from yesterday was very difficult physically and mentally.
"But she played some great tennis. She was changing direction very well. She was aggressive."
Earlier on Saturday, Wozniacki advanced to the final after defeating Karolina Pliskova from the Czech Republic 7-6 (11-9) 6-3 in the other semi-final.
The result confirmed Halep's position as year-end world No.1 - Pliskova was the only other player who could have taken the top spot, but she had to win the tournament.