Re: ATP Finals
World No. 2 Roger Federer won his hometown title at the Swiss Indoors Basel for a record fourth time as he avenged his 2009 final defeat to Novak Djokovic with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 victory over the Serb in Sundayís final.
"Itís obviously a beautiful moment. Itís always very emotional and just a good feeling; Iím very happy," said Federer. "Iíve had a great history here. I canít believe Iíve been in the final so many times and Iíve won already four times. I couldnít be more happy today."
Basel-born Federer captured his 65th career tour-level title, taking him to fourth place on the Open Era Singles Titles List, one ahead of American Pete Sampras. It was the Swiss No. 1ís fourth title of the season, adding to triumphs at the Australian Open (d. Murray), Cincinnati (d. Fish) and Stockholm (d. Mayer) two weeks ago. He is the third player this year to win four tour-level titles, following Rafael Nadal (7) and Sam Querrey (4).
"I have to back it up [in London] now. Iíve played three straight finals in a row; Iíve won titles back-to-back in Stockholm and Basel," said Federer. "Now I have a couple of days off and a travel day as well to get to Paris and play well there and itís only then that the focus will really shift to London. Iíd like to keep it up and play well in Paris and see how it goes from there.Ē
Watch Final Highlights | Watch Federer Interview
Top seed Federer made a fast start to his 18th meeting with Djokovic and broke serve in the third game as he quickly wrapped up a one-set lead. The second-seeded Djokovic was quick to respond, though, breaking Federerís serve for just the second time this week in the second game of the second set to level the match.
Riding an eight-match winning streak, though, the confident Federer kept his focus in the deciding set and from 1-1 won five successive games to seal victory in just under two hours. Since squandering two match points in a five-set defeat to Djokovic in the US Open semi-finals, Federer has beaten the Belgrade native twice, also in the Shanghai semi-finals, and extended his career-lead in their head-to-head series to 12-6.
"Today obviously was the most dangerous match [of the week], I was playing the best player in the tournament," reflected Federer. "I had a tough final last year, pretty similar to this one this year, but it just went my way in the third set. We always play very athletic against one another, I always think itís really close, they can go either way, so Iím happy I won the last three of the four. I had match point [against him] at the US Open and that one hurt, but look, this one makes up for it big time."
The 29-year-old Federer improved to a 38-7 record in Basel, where he once served as a ball boy, and has won 24 of his past 25 matches at the ATP World Tour 500 indoor hard-court tennis tournament. He won three successive titles from 2006-2008 before finishing runner-up to Djokovic last year; he also reached the final in 2000-2001.
World No. 3 Djokovic was contesting his fourth tour-level final of the season and dropped to a 2-2 mark; he won the titles in Dubai (d. Youzhny) and Beijing (d. Ferrer) and finished runner-up to Nadal in his third Grand Slam final at the US Open.
ďOverall it was a good week," reflected Djokovic. "The only thing today, which I think was bad, was the third set. I lost a little bit of balance and a little bit of focus and in a split second I was already 5-1 down and there was no way back. Iíd definitely like to congratulate Roger; he was the better player today. It was a great atmosphere, itís always a packed house here, especially the last couple of days of the tournament.
ďI like playing here. Iíve had a lot of success in these two years and hopefully Iíll come back next year. Itís a great tournament and it would be a pleasure to play here in 2011.Ē
Both the 23-year-old Djokovic and Federer have secured their places in the eight-man field at the season-ending Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, to be held at The O2 in London from 21-28 November.