Federer fails to find rhythm before booking spot in last four

Roger Federer only found his form late in the match as he battled to beat the 146th-ranked Frederico Gil at the Estoril Open in Lisbon yesterday. The world No 1 eventually won 6-4, 6-1 to reach the semi-finals of the clay-court tournament.

Staying mostly on the baseline, Federer was still plagued by the unforced errors that have dogged his performances in Portugal and was broken twice in an encounter that was interrupted by two rain delays. Gil "played an excellent set-and-a-half", Federer said. "Thank God I could use the rain delays to improve my level of play."

In the women's event, second-seeded Russian Maria Kirilenko trounced fifth-seeded Tathiana Garbin of Italy, 6-0, 6-1. Iveta Benesova of the Czech Republic upset eighth-seeded Camille Pin of France 3-6, 6-2, 6-3.

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