Djokovic extended by Baghdatis to reach Basel semifinals

    Novak Djokovic reacts to winning a point in his three-set victory over Marcos Baghdatis

    Story highlights

    • Top seed Novak Djokovic into Basel semifinals with three-set win
    • Djokovic drops opening set to Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus
    • Home favorite Roger Federer beats Andy Roddick to reach the last four
    • Juan Martin del Potro steps up bid for ATP Tour finals place with Valencia win
    Novak Djokovic shrugged off the loss of the opening set to beat Marcos Baghdatis 2-6 6-2 6-3 Friday to reach the semifinals of the ATP tournament in Basel.
    The World No.1, who is playing for the first time in over a month since suffering a back injury in Serbia's Davis Cup loss to Argentina, stayed on course for an expected final showdown against Swiss favorite Roger Federer.
    But first Djokovic must get past rising Japanese star Kei Nishikori in the last four.
    Nishikori was a 6-4 5-7 6-4 winner in nearly three hours over Kazak Mikhail Kukushkin in an earlier quarterfinal.
    In the evening session, Federer easily dispatched Andy Roddick 6-3 6-2 for his 21st win from 23 meetings with the American.
    Federer will next play Stanislas Wawrinka after his fellow Swiss beat German Florian Mayer 6-2 6-2.
    Federer is bidding for only his second title of the year after Doha and has lost only once to Wawrinka, his partner at the 2008 Beijing Olympics where they won the doubles.
    Earlier, Djokovic had to withstand 12 aces from Cypriot Baghdatis and dropped his own service twice in the opener to fall behind.
    But he quickly recovered his composure to take command and complete victory in just over 90 minutes, his 67th of the season with just three losses.
    Nishikori will be taking part in his third semifinal of the back end of the season, earning his place after an impressive run which saw a victory over fourth seed Tomas Berdych.
    This was a setback to the Czech star's hopes of clinching his place in the ATP Tour finals in London later this month.
    Meanwhile, Argentina's former U.S. Open champion Juan Martin del Potro maintained his late charge for a place in the elite eight-man field in London by reaching the semifinals of the Valencia Open.
    Del Potro beat Sam Querrey 6-2 7-5 and has risen to number 10 in the race.
    Defending champion David Ferrer of Spain, who has already booked his spot, also reached the last four with a 6-3 6-4 win over Nikolay Davydenko of Russia.