Roger Federer was pushed hard to beat Gilles Simon 7-6 (1), 4-6, 6-4 in the Swiss Indoors quarterfinals on Friday.

Top-seeded Federer clinched after more than 2-1/2 hours, breaking Simon’s serve when the 32nd-ranked Frenchman sent a backhand long from the baseline.

Federer puffed out his cheeks in a gesture of relief when taking the applause from his hometown crowd in Basel, where he seeks a ninth career title.

In the first set won by Federer, Simon failed to hold serve at 5-3 up and held a set-point chance before the tiebreaker.

Alexander Zverev of Germany reacts during the quarter-final match against Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain at the Swiss Indoors tennis tournament at the St. Jakobshalle in Basel, Switzerland, on Friday, Oct. 26, 2018. (Alexandra Wey/Keystone via AP)

Federer next plays the winner of Friday’s late match between fourth-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas and seventh-seeded Daniil Medvedev.

Earlier, second-seeded Alexander Zverev beat Roberto Bautista Agut 7-5, 6-3.

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Source: The Associated Press

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