Roger Federer claims 99th ATP title with Basel triumph

Elena Summers
October 31, 2018

The 37-year-old world number three, who first won the Swiss title in 2006, was a break down in each set to Romanian Copil, seeking his first title.

Seeking a ninth title at Basel - where he has once a ball boy and reached the final in his last 11 appearances - Federer last dropped a set in his opening match 10 years ago.

The 28-year-old Copil came to Basel with career prize money - $1.67 million - significantly less than Federer earned just for winning the Australian Open in January.

In Austria, fifth seed Nishikori beat Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan 6-4 6-3, while South African world number eight Anderson saw off Spain's Fernando Verdasco 6-3 3-6 6-4. He has never lost a final to an opponent ranked below No. 87.

"I'm starting to really get to understand the conditions and it was consistent, my most consistent match by far. I was a bit unsure of my serve and his return is excellent", said Federer.

"For those who do not speak such good German and Swiss-German, thank you very much for coming", he said.

He will be the third seed in Paris and has a bye into round two, where he will face Croatia's world number six Marin Cilic. His hour and a half tussle against Marius Copil in the final of the Swiss Indoors aided him to win his 21st ATP 500 crown surpass Rafael Nadal who has 20 of them.

The 20-time Grand Slam champion will have to re-group quickly for the semis, where he will play the victor from Greek breakthrough player Stefanos Tsitsipas and Daniil Medvedev.

The 35th-ranked Serb then broke Federer's serve three times, including back-to-back to clinch the set and level the match.

Federer surged into a 3-0 lead in the decider, only to for Simon to once again show his battling qualities to break back in game seven.

Just as Federer looked to be settling into form after almost 30 unforced errors in the opening set, more disruption ensued.

There were four consecutive breaks of serve during an erratic second set, but a big forehand victor earned Simon a crucial third break and a 5-4 lead that he did not relinquish.

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