Federer’s long path to his 8th title

When the bell of the finals tolls in tennis, the greats of the branch tighten an extra string. The Swiss Indoors delivered the concrete proof. In a thrilling final at world class level, Roger Federer and Juan-Martin Del Potro fought a duel for 151 minutes. The 13th final in the city of his birth proved to be a lucky number for the Swiss. He took three sets to win his 8th Title at the Swiss Indoors, as many as he has won at Wimbledon. Only in Halle (Westphalia, on grass) has the maestro attained a higher number of titles (9). After a week in neutral gear (only one set lost in 37 games), a stiff wind blew around super technician Roger Federer’s ears. The Argentinian hulk brought tools into play: just his serve and forehand gained him points. He came back to win the first set after being 0:3 down in the tie break. Now every one of the 9,200 spectators in the sold-out hall realised that this day at the St. Jakob was not going to be child’s play.

A magical duel developed, even someone of Federer’s standing committing the occasional error on the way to his 95th career title. In the final set, Del Potro, who appeared with a tape on his back, started to wane just a little. The 36-year-old playmaker immediately opened up better. He lost his serve three times in total; Del Potro five times. And the difference in points (112:97) finished relatively clearly. The South American lost a final in Basel for the first time since winning the finals in 2012 and 2013.

«March 2018»