Roger Federer survived a scare against Frenchman Adrian Mannarino to progress to the semi-finals of his hometown tournament - the Swiss Indoors Basel.
The veteran tennis star has enjoyed a remarkable upturn in fortunes in 2017, winning the Australian Open and Wimbledon to cement his title as the Greatest of All Time [GOAT].
Federer has now won 19 grand slam victories and only Rafael Nadal, on 16, stands a chance of catching his incredible tally.
Still with an outside chance of end 2017 as number one, a tournament win would take the Swiss to within 1,460 points of Nadal ahead of the Paris Masters next week.
“I can’t play more than I’m already playing,” Federer said earlier in October. “I can only control my draw.
“I can’t control how well he’s [Nadal] playing. Because he’s playing so well, it’s going to make things more difficult.
“But I know that if I want to finish world No. 1 I’ve got to win here and World Tour Finals and Paris and Basel, whatever it may be. It becomes more and more unlikely, which is totally fine, because I never entered this season with the goal being world No1.
Turning point of the match
Federer was forced to battle hard to a 4-6 6-1 6-3 victory over Mannarino - the match seemed to swing on one incredible backhand winner.
Facing a break point at a crucial moment in the decisive set, the 36-year-old pro saw his serve returned with venom by his French opponent.
Federer produced one of the sweetest half-volley pick-ups imaginable - fans on Twitter could barely believe it.
“Today was a battle," said Federer. "I had to somehow dig and fight and sometimes these wins are more rewarding than just leading from the get-go and dominating throughout and bringing it home.
"These are better matches to win sometimes, actually. I just had a tough time really getting into it and he was rock solid, so he deserved that first set, but the reaction from me was really important.”
Federer - who is reportedly not at 100% health - will face David Goffin in the semi-final on Saturday, hoping to set up a meeting with either Juan Martin del Potro or Marin Cilic.
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