ATP 500Roger FedererSwiss Indoors

Del Potro Defeats Federer to Win Basel Title

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.

Fed and Del Po at Trophy Presentation

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

Fed vs. Del Potro Stats

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

Federer withdraws from 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.


Huge fan of Roger Federer. I watch all his matches from Grand Slam level right down to ATP 250. When I'm not watching or writing about tennis I play regularly myself and have a keen interest in tactics, equipment and technicalties of the sport.

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  1. There were definitely some great moments today with a disappointing result. I’m often overoptimistic when it comes to Roger but I’m not even that upset this time because in the back of my mind I agree with you 100% both in your prediction at the beginning of the Swiss Indoors and your thoughts on the rest of the year. Right now, pushing too hard is just too risky going into 2013. Glad he pulled out of Paris and will be happy to watch the WTF for the sheer pleasure of seeing him play without the nerves I usually have! 😉

    1. Yeah I wasn’t too devastated after the match! Nothing compared to Berdshit at the US Open this one.

      I thought he played pretty well in the final, definitely got better as the tournament went on just errors cost him!

  2. If there’s one player I don’t mind Fed losing against too much, it’s Del Potro and to be honest I’m just happy they’ve got a properly competitive rivalry going again after so long of one way traffic for Fed. Very smart move to pull out of Paris, and although I’m not particularly convinced he will win the WTF in London (he desperately needs the season to end so he can get some much needed R&R) if there’s one thing I’ve learned when watching Fed this season it’s that you should never rule him out!

    1. Yeah Del Po is cool, comes across pretty genuine I think and doesn’t take himself too seriously.

      I’m not even excited for the WTF this year, he’s won it two years on the trot, there’s not much more to achieve at the o2 in my mind. Rest is paramount, gotta get those damn Exhos outta the way first though!

  3. I guess your prediction was correct! Fed lost fair and square. I somehow didn’t feel upset, almost like it didn’t matter if he won or lost. Sure, I’m sad that Fed couldn’t win a title in front of his home crowd. But, he fought to the last second! I wish I could feel that peace even in the Grand Slam finals!!

    Fed should skip Paris, as he is doing. He’ll have more rest than his competition but needs momentum! I think Andy Murray will win the WTF to cap off an amazing year. Like Wendy said, I have no expectations for Roger! He, at 31 years old, has played the most matches since 2006, won Wimbledon, and is still competitive! That’s all I ever wanted! 2013, here we come for more titles! 🙂

    1. Yeah it was an entertaining final I thought. He could have lost it in straights but dug deep and then nearly won it. Would have been a nice confidence boost to get the win but wasn’t to be.

      Yeah Murray has a chance at WTF. Maybe Del Potro can do some damage in London too, former finalist in 2009 before losing to Kolya.

  4. It was a great match, except the result! I woke up in the morning to find that Roger was down 15-30 5-6 in the third set and he served two aces in a row to force the set into a tiebreaker, I thought that he would be able to win the match. But he hit a makeable forehand error at 2-3 and that cost him the match even though he won the next point with a stunning half volley. He wasted all those BP in the last set – that was the main reason why he lost.

    1. Yeah that break point he saved at 5-5 with the inside out forehand was immense. Takes guts to go for that shot when if he misses it’s virtually game over.

      Bad breaker from Fed in the end, gets the reprieve on the challenge and then misses a regulation forehand into the net. If that had gone in it might have worked out differently. I’d pay to see that half volley again though, epic!

  5. Man, what’s up with roger anyway? seldom have i seen him so animated on the courts as he was in the final that it’s almost strange! Nevertheless, it was fun to watch Roger leak out some of the emotions that are considered rare in today’s tennis 😉 !
    I think what Roger’s going through right now is exactly what Djok went through last year after winning USO. He was rendered useless after beating both Fed and Nad, and although it’s not that bad, i guess Roger is pretty much up there as well after Wimby (5 setter against the Frenchman, and then taking on full form Djoker and Mugray with a back injury!) and Olympics. The defeat at the Meadows made it worse. Hope he can finish the season strongly and not get burned out for the upcoming one, AO is the first priority at the moment.

    1. Think it’s the hometown crowd effect. Maybe he feels abit more emotional, maybe they bring it out of him a little too, as though he knows that’s what they want to see.

      Yeah I think Fed is burned out, Olympics screwed him I guess, that match with Del Potro was too crazy. Olympics tired him physically and US Open loss hit him mentally. Bad combo.

  6. Delpo played well and Roger is just plain tired. 4 key takeaways from here. I will start with positives
    1. Serve – some clutch serving from Fed, is a good sign, I think
    2. Backhand – I am surprised how well his backhand held up against Delpo continuous hammering.

    The Bad
    1. FH – a big let down especially his running FH cross court. Missing a lot those for past few matches and hurt him badly especially against Delpo.
    2. Movement/Shot selection – a fraction slow which will cause him a lot of damage as Fed’s game is all about precision. I hope this burnout is only due to this season’s packed calendar.

    Its a very good decision to pull out from Bercy, he doesn’t need to continue the dog fight with the young guns out there. He has achieved a lot this season.

    1. Hey Dippy,

      Yeah pretty spot on I think.

      I thought the forehand was good early on but like you said on the run he made quite a lot of errors, dumped them into the net when usually he defends well on that side.

      Pulling out from Bercy is a smart move, he had a stupid draw anyway so would have guaranteed to be tired for WTF.

  7. Definitely agree on shot selection. It wasn’t that good throughout the match, but it was terrible at times (smashes, drop shots etc.). I was pulling my hair out in disbelief on some of his shots, hehe. Overall he didn’t play a terrible match, he was average. Delpo played great especially in the first set, but after that it was just Roger missing all those chances.
    Good thing Fed is skipping Paris. he should take a few days off and give his all in London,which he still has a good chance of winning, if he doesn’t lose his focus too much, and finds his forehand. I feel his 1st serve is finally clicking (it wasn’t great in Shanghai and at the beginning of this week), which is good news. Cheers

    1. Yeah few risky plays, I like the dropshot against Del Potro through, even if he misses a few, the reward is high when he makes it.

      Not sure I see him winning London now but hopefully he can finish the season well and be confident for next year.

  8. I think we are going to find a lot more cases of Fed losing going forward.He is moving well,but is second guessing a lot.I think he should free up and play more freely,which I think he can,without which it is going to be tough to keep up with the young guns.

    1. Dunno man, losses are bound to increase over time but I don’t see him dropping off a cliff just yet. He played average and took Del Po to the wire, I think that’s a pretty good effort. The guy beat Nadal in a slam, he’s no pushover.

  9. I think Delpo will make the WTF final. I still think Roger is the man to beat there after his last two performances at the event, but it will be very difficult. Hopefully he recharges and comes back roaring in Paris.

      1. Haha, that one is up there with your Benoit or Paire comment!

        I don’t think Fed is gonna be fired up for London though. Little to prove, little to play for.

  10. I agree Jonathan, although in my heart I still have hope that Fed will win WTF. Fed is tired and he has been playing injured as well so it’s a smart move to skip Bercy and not risk even more unjury. At 31 yrs. with a remarkable 68-10 season, I’d say he has earned a good rest. I am so looking forward to London just for the sheer joy of watching him play!

    1. Winning London ain’t impossible I just think it’s unlikely. He’s tired and motivation is probably pretty low. London, Exhos, Rest. Sounds like a plan to me.

  11. You know, what is happening to Roger now is similar to what happened to Djokovic last year, kind of. He had a very busy year with lots of matches and definitely burned out after the US Open, like Novak did last year. Of course, the big difference is that Novak was 24/25 then and Roger is 30/31. When Roger was 25 he played 97 matches in one year and only lost once after the French Open!
    This year reminds me quite a bit of the end to 2009, so I would not be shocked if he didn’t capture the WTF, even though I really want him to win it. The AO is the focus and he should really put all his offseason energy into preparing mentally and physically for that one tournament.

  12. I would prefer that Tsonga win over Joker, Murray or Potro. I am not going to waste my self working out a schedule. I would even prefer Ferrer over those guys. Potro is just ok to me. He does act like a better person than he was prior to his injury. I will have to wait for Bellucci and Raonic.. Isner and Querry from the US are still struggling.

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