Roger bags 8th Basel crown, 95th overall
Basel, Switzerland — Roger Federer finally beat Juan Martin del Potro in a Swiss Indoors final, winning 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-3 Sunday to go clear in second place on the Open era title list.
Federer’s 95th ATP tournament win — the eighth in his hometown Basel event where he was once a ballboy — lifted him out of a tie with Ivan Lendl, trailing only Jimmy Connors who has 109.
The top-seeded Federer succeeded on the same court where he lost the 2012 and 2013 Basel finals to del Potro.
Federer rallied from a break down in the decisive set and clinched when the fourth-seeded Argentine sent a service return long.
Trailing in the second set, the 36-year-old Swiss had slammed his racket on the net cord in frustration when wasting a break-point chance.
Federer improved to 7-1 in finals this season. They include his previous event, the Shanghai Masters two weeks ago, and Grand Slam titles at the Australian Open and Wimbledon.
Sticking to a schedule that avoids playing back-to-back weeks, Federer later Sunday pulled out of the Paris Masters which starts Monday and will focus on the ATP Finals starting Nov. 12 in London.
That decision by the No. 2ranked Federer all but assures the end-of-season No. 1 status for Rafael Nadal who is top-seeded in Paris.
Victory Sunday lifted Federer to a 18-6 lifetime record against del Potro, who has a 3-2 edge over Federer in finals.
Roger Federer reacts during the final match against Argentina’s Juan Martin del Potro.