28 October, 2017
The injury-plagued Argentinian lifted the Basel trophy in 2012 and 2013-beating home favourite and eight-time victor Roger Federer in both of those finals.
In the third set, the Swiss top seed saved break points in the sixth game for 3-3 before breaking for a 4-3 lead with a backhand victor.
Federer will face David Goffin or Jack Sock in the semi-final.
Sloppy from the start, Federer is chasing an eighth title in his hometown tournament.
"I survived, I'm still standing", Del Potro joked.
In the third, Del Potro again found his lethal form, cruising to the victory by firing a trademark forehand victor on his second match point.
"I'm exhausted, but I'm still winning and playing good tennis", the world No 19 said. But over the last few weeks I feel I have the power to play a lot.
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In the deciding third, the Argentine, who beat Federer in the 2012 and 2013 Basel finals, traded service breaks with the Spaniard before winning the seven-miniute penultimate game with a break for 5-4.
"I've had some problems in my body because I've been playing so many matches in a row".
"I have a tough match against Benneteau".
Federer next plays Benoit Paire of France.
With AP Photos.Roger Federer was tested before beating 28th-ranked Adrian Mannarino 4-6, 6-1, 6-3 in the Swiss Indoors quarterfinals. "This keeps me motivated to keep going".
Fourth-seeded Del Potro, a two-time Basel champion, beat Julien Benneteau 6-4, 6-4 and stayed on course to qualify for the ATP World Tour Finals lineup in London next month.