Federer sees off Fucsovics to reach last four in Dubai

Roger Federer was held up by both the rain and a battling performance from Marton Fucsovics before eventually booking his place in the semi-finals of the Dubai Tennis Championship.

The second seed is looking to win his 100th ATP Tour title but has found life tough going so far in the United Arab Emirates, needing three sets to see off Philippe Kohlschreiber and Fernando Verdasco to reach the last eight.

Fucsovics also proved to be a tricky proposition for the Swiss on Thursday, the world number 35 squandering a pair of opportunities to seal the opening set during a tense tie-break.

Federer eventually claimed the set and while he was unable to hold on to an early advantage in the second, he capitalised on a timely delay in play due to bad weather to crucially break in the ninth game.

The 37-year-old still had to fend off one final push from Fucsovics, rallying after falling 0-30 down on serve to record a 7-6 (8-6) 6-4 triumph after just under two hours on court.

Play had also temporarily halted due to rain with the score at 5-5 in a highly competitive first set, Federer having quickly realised he was in for another battle when he faced a break point in his opening service game.

The 20-time grand slam champion committed 21 unforced errors but still came out on top after Fucsovics played passively with the set up for grabs, letting slip a 6-4 lead in the breaker as he lost four points in a row.

The Hungarian was level at 4-4 in the second set after countering an early setback on his own serve, yet a further stoppage in proceedings worked against him as he was broken again in the next game.

Federer duly served out for the match to remain on course for an eighth victory in the tournament, one that would also see him bring up a historic century in a stellar career.

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