Wahhhhhh, enjoyable final with a disappointing result as Fed failed to win his 6th Basel title losing in 3 close sets to Juan Martin Del Potro.
Despite writing off Fed's chances earlier in the week I went into the final with a degree of optimism as he'd improved quite significantly in his last two matches against Paire and Mathieu, I thought if he'd been able to stay on that upward trend he had more than a good chance to win the tournament and defend his ranking points.
Unfortunately he played well but not well enough and a few too many errors cost him the match. He certainly had chances to win it in the third but the unforced errors column that was breathing down his neck the whole match finally caught up with him in the tie break and Del Potro won his second title in two weeks.
I thought overall I played pretty good, he got off to a bit of a better start, but it was close. He served well at the beginning, which made him the better player in the first set. The second set was close. He didn’t play a very good tie-break and then I had my chances early on in the third. I couldn’t break, despite doing the right things, but then I didn’t play a good tie-break myself. He has been playing really well this season. I have played him seven times. Every time, I can see he is extremely tough. He has been making the right improvements throughout the year. He is, basically, right there again.
Credit to Del Potro too who is on a good winning streak indoors now, he served exceptionally well today and when he hits the ball it certainly stays hit. I don't think he really outplayed Roger during the match but he made Federer hit a lot of balls and made him work hard for each and every point. He served well on the break points he faced and ultimately he probably deserved the win.
Overall I think the final can be viewed as a positive, he served better than he has all week and still took Del Potro to the wire even though he wasn't in JesusFed mode. There were some great rallies, a GOAT volley in the tie break and some phenomenal forehands especially the one on break point at 5-5 in the final set. It's just a shame that Roger couldn't keep the errors under control as the result could have been oh so different.
Federer vs. Del Potro Statistics
As you can see from the stats above Roger had a pretty good serving day and both players were pretty evenly matched. There's two telling stats, one of which you can see above which is Roger failing to convert any of his 5 break point chances and the other being that he made 32 unforced errors and only 31 errors (those stats might be slightly off).
Federer Withdraws from the Paris Masters in Bercy
It's just been announced that Roger has decided to skip the Paris Masters and consequently won't be defending his title that he won against Tsonga last year.
I think this is a smart move and with no break before the World Tour Finals it would have been daft to play it and risk burning himself out even more. The year end number 1 isn't even a race anymore so there's little to play for other than finishing the season strongly.
Can Roger win the World Tour Finals?
The last time Roger didn't win Basel was in 2009 and that year he lost in the semi finals of the World Tour Finals against Davydenko.
I believe this year will be similar and Roger won't be winning the World Tour Finals. I didn't think he'd win Basel and I'm applying the same theory here. He's had too tough a season and one last push at the World Tour Finals is too much of an uphill struggle. To do so could effect the start of his 2013 campaign and I don't want to see that.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments.