BASEL, Switzerland — Top-ranked Roger Federer defeated big-serving Ivo Karlovic 7-6 (6), 7-6 (5) Saturday to move into the final of his hometown Swiss Indoors tournament.
The defending champion will play Jarkko Nieminen, who advanced to his first final of the year by beating Marcos Baghdatis 7-6 (4), 6-2.
A win for Federer can clinch his season at No. 1 for the fourth consecutive year.
"After a bumpy ride in the first round and a bit of a scare, my game has progressed and I feel good going into the final," Federer said.
Federer is 7-0 against Nieminen.
"He has beaten some quality players this week and he makes you work hard," Federer said. "You can't underestimate him. The fans will expect me to take a quick lead, but it might not happen."
The Swiss has won six titles, including three Grand Slams. Federer is 11-0 in his semifinal matches this year.
"It will be a great experience to play him on his home court," Nieminen said. "Sometimes it feels like he is not a human, but he is and every match starts from 0-0."