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Diamonds and crust Federer serves up pizza for Basel ball kids

Roger Federer surrounded by pizza-eating ball boys and girls

From sliced backhands to sliced pizza: Federer and friends at the post-match pizza party

(Keystone)

Once a ball boy, always a ball boy. Roger Federer has again come up with the goods at his hometown event in Basel: pizzas. The 36-year-old won the Swiss Indoors Basel for the eighth time on Sunday with a three-set triumph over Juan Martin del Potro. 

As he had done in each of the 11 years he has made the final, Federer threw a traditional post-match pizza party for all the ball boys and girls. It’s a nod to the two years he gathered balls in Basel, where he says he remembers riding a bike from his house to the tournament venue as an 11-year-old. Federer was a ball boy for the final between Michael Stich and Stefan Edberg in 1993. 

Federer also presented the ball kids with a medal on court soon after defeating Del Potro to claim his 95th career trophy. In edging past Ivan Lendl’s 94, Federer is now alone in second place on the all-time titles list, led by Jimmy Connors on 109. 

However, Federer’s chances of snatching the world No 1 ranking from Rafael Nadal before the end of the season are all but over as the Swiss pulled out of next week’s Paris Masters citing a back injury. Instead he plans to be fit for next month’s ATP Finals in London.

swissinfo.ch/ts

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