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Federer battles past Ljubicic

ESPN staff
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Roger Federer produced some moments of quality in the second set © Getty Images
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Roger Federer survived an early wobble to overcome Ivan Ljubicic 7-6(5) 6-2 and reach the final of the Stockholm Open.

The Swiss is looking to bounce back from his defeat to Andy Murray in Shanghai last week, but he struggled early on against the giant figure of Ljubicic. The Croat worked an early break of serve but he failed to ram home his advantage and Federer broke back to take the set into a tiebreak.

Federer took Ljubicic's measure in the breaker by taking a rapid minibreak and his solid play enabled him to take the set. Taking the opening set enabled Federer to free himself and he played with much more authority in the second set.

The 16-time grand slam winner did not offer up a single break point in the second set and he was clinical on the Ljubicic serve, breaking with the two points he crafted, to close out the match in an hour and 18 minutes.

Federer will face Florian Mayer in the final after the German staved off a match point to beat Finland's Jarkko Nieminen 4-6 6-4 7-6(3).

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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