Well what can you say about that? Roger brought his A game to the party and totally outclassed Nishikori in 2 dazzling sets of tennis. In winning todays final Roger has now won a record 5 titles in Basel, something I doubt will ever be beaten. It's such a great venue too so I've had alot of fun watching this tournament over the past week.
The match itself didn't disappoint and Roger really turned up the heat on his ground strokes today. The very first point of the match was a great rally which is always a good sign. It looked as if Kei was heading for a comfortable opening hold after he progressed to 40-0 lead, however Roger hit a stunning backhand winner up the line and got the game to deuce. Whenever Roger starts putting out the backhand winners up the line you just know it's a good day and JesusFed has come to play. On break point Nishikori served and volleyed behind his second serve, which was abit of a panic like tactic (although I guess it could have worked), and volleyed straight into the net.
Roger held serve comfortably hitting a supreme overhead in the process as he established a 2-0 lead. He went on to get the double break and lead 5-1. Fed was moving so so well, I don't think I've seen him hit the forehand on the run that well in a while. After a Nishikori double fault Roger secured the triple break and with it the set 6-1.
Whenever you get to watch Federer in this vain of form it's pretty breathtaking, he hits the ball so effortlessly and moves so fluidly around the court. It was the peRFect first set from him – total domination, shots from both wings and winners from all areas of the court.
Match Stat: Federer lost 1 point on serve in the first set, winning 100% of points behind his second serve.
Set 2 – Effortless Tennis
Roger had a chance to break in Nishikori's first service game of the 2nd set, but comitted a couple of errors. Nishikori started to hold his own for brief moments, and at 2-2 it looked as though Roger had taken his foot off the gas a little. However, he didn't and created 3 break points at 3-2, to his credit Nishikori got back to deuce but Roger broke with the most sumptuous of forehand lobs you will ever see.
4-2, 5-3 all happened in the blink of an eyelid and before you know it Roger was serving for the match, he dropped to 15-30 which I think was only the 6th point of the match he'd lost on serve, crazy stats. The point to setup match point was all round awesome and ended with a thunderous forehand winner. peRFect! Game Set Match Federer 6-1 6-3.
It was such a free flowing Federer performance, when he plays in a relaxed state of mind, practically any shot becomes possible, he almost plays in a lackadaisical style which surely must infuriate his opponents who are grinding out from the baseline.
It was a perfect match for me. Now i have big hopes for Paris and London
Federer vs. Nishikori Match Stats
1st serve %
Winning % on 1st Serve
Winning % on 2nd Serve
Break Points Converted
22 of 25 = 88%
11 of 14 = 79%
4 of 13 = 31%
peRFect, JesusFed, GodMode etc etc
Here's the trophy presentation, which is very nicely done. Roger gets pretty emotional towards the end, which is nice to see and just shows how important tennis is to him. Surely there is no better feeling than performing so well in front of your home town crowd and having a whole nation in awe of every swing of your racket. I also think that Nishikori took his defeat well, and came across well in the way he spoke. If he can stay injury free he could be a top 20 player without doubt.
As I said, I think Basel is such a cool tournament, it totally follows the stereotype of Swiss precision in every way, it's well organised and has so many nice little touches that other tournaments totally miss.
The peRFect Tournament
As Fed fans, we can now head into Paris and London now with high hopes. However, whilst I'm optimistic about them, I'm indifferent about the outcome, Basel has reminded him how to win a tournament which was definitely needed but for me the next important milestone is Australia.
Allez les suisse!