Basel, Switzerland: Roger Federer earned a rematch with Juan Martin del Potro for his hometown Swiss Indoors title by beating Vasek Pospisil in a tense semifinal on Saturday.
Federer tested his home fans' nerves before advancing to his eighth straight Basel final with a 6-3, 6-7 (3), 7-5 win against the 40th-ranked Canadian.
The third-seeded Federer faltered when serving for the match at 5-3 in the second set, and fell behind 3-1 in the decider before rallying.
Earlier, defending champion del Potro also let the second set slip away against an unseeded opponent before beating Edouard Roger-Vasselin of France 6-4, 4-6, 6-2.
Federer is a five-time champion at Basel and seeks to reclaim the title taken by the fifth-ranked Argentine last year.
"It's always a pleasure for me," del Potro said about the prospect of playing Federer. "I know all the people are waiting for that final and it would be like a rematch for him."
With victory on Sunday, the sixth-ranked Federer will also secure his place at the ATP Finals in London in just over a week, closing his most difficult season beset by back injuries and shocking defeats to lower-ranked opponents.
Federer improved his season record to 40-13, his fewest wins since he posted a 49-21 mark in 2001, the year he turned 20.
In a dramatic third set, wayward groundstrokes from Federer allowed Pospisil to break for a 3-1 lead.
Federer reclaimed the break immediately, but had to fend off another break chance for Pospisil before holding at 4-4.
At 5-5, Federer wasted three break chances before finally leading in the set when Pospisil fired a forehand long.
Federer clinched victory with a powerful service winner and raised both arms in triumph after the two hour, 40 minute effort.
Del Potro has a 4-13 career record against Federer, though he has won their past two meetings, both on indoor hard courts at Basel and London a year ago. He also clinched his only Grand Slam title, the 2009 U.S. Open, against the Swiss star.
Asked about Federer's comments this week that he needed to improve, del Potro suggested: "It doesn't matter what he says -- it's Roger Federer and he is playing in his hometown."