ATP title number 95 for Roger Federer as he finally got the better of Juan Martin Del Potro in a Basel final, winning
6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-3 to take down his 8th Swiss Indoors title and move ahead of Ivan Lendl on the all-time title list.
The Swiss needed to use all his experience to overcome a string of missed opportunities in the first set and to rally from a break down in the third to finally seal the deal on his second match point with a first serve that the Argentine could not handle.
Quick Match Recap
Federer won the toss and elected to receive, a decision which paid off as he broke to 30 for a peRFect start. Once the Swiss has gotten the lead this week he's runway with sets but here he couldn't consolidate as Del Potro broke straight back.
The pair then exchanged holds and in game seven Roger couldn't convert two break points as Del Potro edged out the game. It looked to be a similar story in game nine after Del Potro made deuce from 15-40 but Fed had other ideas, coming up with a ridiculous bit of defence then a forehand pass to move up 5-4. At 30-15 it looked like the set would be going the way of the now 8-time champ but he played a risky drop shot which allowed Del Potro back in the game and he went on to break.
A hold a piece later and the set resulted in a tie-break. Roger got off to a flying start to move up 3-0 but Del Potro was able to reel off 6 straight points winning a lengthy exchange before taking the set 7-5.
At the changeover, Fed was clearly wondering how he'd lost that set after breaking twice and looking set in the tie-break so he needed to regroup quickly. A love hold steadied the ship but in game three Roger needed to fight off a break point to lead 2-1. Game four saw Roger use that momentum to create a break point of his own but he botched a fairly simple volley into the tramlines.
With the frustrations clearly showing Roger fired down three double faults in game five including one at deuce but somehow managed to hold. At 4-4 it looked like we might be seeing another tie-break but an ace on game point put Roger 5-4 in front and he was able to steal the set with some sick defence to level things up.
Both Del Potro's Basel final wins went three sets with him winning the opener and he got off to an ideal start in set three thanks to Roger throwing away his serve. Fortunately, Del Potro wasn't in a ruthless mood as he handed the break straight back. That breathed life back into Federer as he was able to reel off four games in a row for a 4-1 lead and the Swiss maintained his advantage to seal it 6-3 in the third in 2 hours and 30 minutes.
|Roger Federer||Juan Martin Del Potro|
|1st Serve||52% (53/101)||67% (72/108)|
|1st Serve Points Won||74% (39/53)||69% (50/72)|
|2nd Serve Points Won||56% (27/48)||33% (12/36)|
|Break Points Saved||57% (4/7)||67% (10/15)|
|Service Games Played||16||15|
|1st Serve Return Points Won||31% (22/72)||26% (14/53)|
|2nd Serve Return Points Won||67% (24/36)||44% (21/48)|
|Break Points Converted||33% (5/15)||43% (3/7)|
|Return Games Played||15||16|
|Net Points Won||68% (19/28)||50% (12/24)|
|Service Points Won||65% (66/101)||57% (62/108)|
|Return Points Won||43% (46/108)||35% (35/101)|
|Return Points Won||54% (112/209)||46% (97/209)|
Thoughts on the Match
Another Sunday, another title for Roger who's continued his 2017 renaissance with title number seven. It wasn't the prettiest match but he managed to settle just enough to get the job done in the end. It was a match of two Federer's really, when behind or level he came up with genius plays (those three passing shots to break for 5-4 in set 1 were immense) but when he got himself in front he played like a man too eager to please home expectations with some tight looking shots. That swipe at the net in set two after the volley miss put him in danger of his frustrations boiling over and costing him the match; but he snook out of his next service game despite three double faults and from there managed to keep his level higher than Del Potro's who was never really the better player in the match.
Other than that there's not a whole lot else to say, a peRFect end to a fantastic week in Basel where we got a bit of everything, Fed in beat down mode vs. Goffin, struggle mode vs. Mannarino and then frustrated mode vs. Del Potro but regardless of how, each one of those goes down as a win which is ultimately all that matters.
Finally, as I'm sure everyone already knows he's withdrawn from Paris, so next stop is the World Tour Finals in London. As always let me know what you thought of the final in the comments 🙂