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Bizarre first Swiss title for Federer

Federer (left) paired up with Marat Safin to win the doubles in Gstaad


Switzerland's Roger Federer was able to celebrate his first tennis title on home soil on Sunday, after he and Russian partner Marat Safin were handed the Swiss Open doubles crown in bizarre fashion.

Federer and Safin were due to take on Australia's Michael Hill and America's Jeff Tarango in the doubles final but the miserable weather that had earlier disrupted the singles final seemed destined to lead to the cancellation of the doubles.

At half past eight in the evening, organisers had not yet decided whether to abandon the contest with just one game completed or to ask the four players to continue the tie on an indoor court.

Then came news that Hill was withdrawing with a leg injury, allowing Federer and Safin to wrap up victory without returning to the court.

"Winning like this is kind of strange," Federer admitted to swissinfo after learning of Hill's withdrawal. "But it seems like it was just meant to happen. We've played good doubles this week and I'm happy to have been able to make the crowd happy again after my first round exit in the singles."

While Federer will rightly take pride in his achievements on the doubles court this week, most notably with Saturday's semi-final victory over doubles specialists Marius Barnard and Cyril Suk, the young Swiss star says he's already thinking about his return to Gstaad next year, when he hopes to win a title "properly."

by Mark Ledsom, Gstaad

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