Federer triumphs in marathon on home court

Roger Federer

Roger Federer claimed his 99th career ATP Tour title on Sunday (Oct 28) but he had to battle to defeat Romanian qualifier Marius Copil 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 in the Swiss Indoors final at Basel.

The 37-year-old Swiss has won his hometown event eight times and is now one step away from retaining his crown and collecting a 99th career title after he advanced to the semi-finals.

Federer blew kisses to a 12,000 crowd in the renovated St. Jakobhalle, which now gives Basel's local hero a bigger main stage.

"Maybe I had to win through fighting. maybe it was different than some of my past victories". It means the world to me.

"I played quite good tennis, it was an fantastic week", he said.

"I've been celebrating already, had a great time - a lot of kids running around, cousins and family and friends".

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It still took him four match points over three games to get the job done against a player he beat in three sets in the first round of the Shanghai Masters this month.

"I'd love to see now what kind of results I can have - but it went his way today, this is how it ended".

The 32-year-old is the first South African to reach the ATP Finals in 23 years and follows in the footsteps of compatriot Wayne Ferreira who achieved the feat in 1995.

But 20-time Grand Slam champion Federer roared back, first levelling the set before securing the crucial break of serve to move 5-4 ahead. Federer stayed focused, breaking back with a smash victor in game seven and taking all the momentum, securing another break at 4-4 and closing the match on own serve in the following game after saving a break point, rattling off five straight games to secure the title in style and lift his 99th ATP trophy in an awesome career.

From there Federer really set the tone of the match in the tiebreaker, where the Swiss man raced to a 5-1 lead before earning the set after an hour of hard-fight when Simon erred his backhand wide.

It appeared for long periods like Federer would not be allowed to cruise to the title.

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