Federer in last four as injury stops Sanchez

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Roger Federer was handed a free passage into the semi-finals of the Swiss Open yesterday his after quarter-final opponent, David Sanchez, pulled out of the tournament with a knee injury.

The Spaniard, who beat his compatriot Alex Corretja in the second round, has been suffering from tendinitis in his left knee and decided he was not fit enough to face the Swiss who last week took his first Grand Slam title at the All England Club.

In another of the quarter-finals, the second-seeded German, Rainer Schüttler, was beaten 6-4, 6-2 by Radek Stepanek. In the semi-finals Stepanek will meet his compatriot Jiri Novak, who finally got the best of Juan Ignacio Chela on clay, winning their quarter-final 6-3, 6-3.

In Bastad, Sweden, the Ecuadorian sixth seed, Nicolas Lapentti, saved five match points before defeating the Spanish teenager Rafael Nadal 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 to reach the Swedish Open semi-finals.

In a match lasting almost three hours, Lapentti needed to play his best tennis to beat the young Mallorcan, who had dominated the opening set. Lapentti mixed his serve and volley game with some clever drop shots to make his recovery, taking the final-set tie-break, 8-6.