Federer complete – like a world number one

No author could have written a script that was more trenchant and to the point. A genuine musical developed on centre court, which had a leading role for only one artist. To the disappointment of Belgian David Goffin, who was relegated to the role of an extra, Roger Federer (photo) produced his best tennis in front of the home audience in the critical and right moment. Federer will meet Juan-Martin Del Potro in the final (14.00 GMT). In head to head meetings, the Swiss leads 17:6.

It seemed as if Federer had loaded his performance as displayed in Melbourne and Wimbledon onto a lorry and transported it to Basel. He constantly maintained supreme control over the ball on the centre court and was never in danger. «I played a complete game, had several options in many cases», the maestro summarised the situation. The poor Belgian, more the artist than a juggernaut, was unable to slow down his opponent’s pace, let alone interrupt it. Goffin was in the same boat as Helene Fischer. During this day of tennis, he was out of breath.

In his 13th final at home, the former Swiss Indoors ball boy is steaming towards his eighth title, an achievement he has equalled this year at Wimbledon. In a sport as competitive as tennis, these are remarkable statistics. Of course Federer is no machine, but at the age of 36 years old his tennis is still running on all cylinders. Answering an interview question, the star agreed that he has improved and further developed his tennis. Federer puts it drily: «I hate running in neutral».

Federer’s stability in his own country and city is also impressive, with his ability to neutralise the public’s high expectations and then fulfil them. Former champion Marc Rosset noted that for his colleague, this week was «a week that gnawed». He wanted to say that this one week had been demanding and draining, and had cost the star a lot of energy. The best technical player swept the table clean. He performed in the semi-final like the new world number one.  Story to be continued in 2018.

«March 2018»