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Federer completes a record triple in Basel


Swiss tennis star Roger Federer has won a record third straight Swiss Indoors title in front of his home crowd in Basel.

He beat David Nalbandian of Argentina 6-3, 6-4 in the tournament final on Sunday.

"I'm overjoyed," Federer said afterwards. "It went as I hoped it would. I served well and played aggressively so I couldn't ask for more."

"The pressure was on Nalbandian. It was good that I could make sure that many of the long rallies went in my favour," he added.

Switzerland's favourite tennis star – all his matches were sold out in Basel – bounced back convincingly from his defeat just over a week ago in the Madrid Masters semi finals by Britain's Andy Murray.

The top-seeded Federer's serve was dominant in Basel. He hit eight aces and conceded just seven points on his serve all match.

The 27-year-old Swiss player broke to lead 4-2 in the first set and again in the third game of the second set.

He won the match in 69 minutes, punching the air to rapturous applause from the spectators.

"Almost perfect"

Nalbandian, who won in Basel in 2002 and is now a three-time runner-up, praised the match.

"I would like to congratulate Roger on a great match, which was almost perfect – but I think he missed one shot," joked the 26-year-old player.

The world number eight from Argentina struggled to make much headway with his own serve against the world number two. Although he had an impressive eight-nine record against Federer, the Swiss proved too strong on Sunday.

Receiving his prize in front of an enthusiastic crowd, Federer said it was always a dream to play in his hometown.

He said that he hoped to be back next year "for an even better tournament".

Mixed year

Overall, it has been a mixed year for Federer. In August he lost his number one ranking to Spain's Rafael Nadal after 237 weeks. He has won only one grand slam title this year, the US Open, but did win an Olympic gold medal in the doubles with fellow Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka.

The Madrid result however ensures that Nadal keeps his top spot for the rest of the year.

"It hasn't been too bad a year," Federer said. "Next year I want to get the number one spot and maybe win a few more Masters Series events but otherwise I'll be happy to stay at generally the same level."

However, one area where Federer is consistently ahead is in terms of winnings.

Earlier this month he was named he richest tennis player of all time, when he edged past former world number one Pete Sampras of the United States in the prize money stakes.

He has now won $43.3 million (SFr49.1 million) in his tennis career.

swissinfo with agencies

In brief

The US Open was Federer's 13th grand slam title, one short of Pete Sampras's record.

He has won five times at Flushing Meadows, five times at Wimbledon and three titles at the Australian Open. But the French Open title still eludes him.

Grand Slam titles (open era):
14: Pete Sampras
13: Roger Federer
11: Björn Borg
8: Andre Agassi, Jimmy Connors, Ivan Lendl

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Swiss Indoors

The organisers of the Swiss Indoors in Basel said that this year's tournament had been the best in 38 years.

In all, 70,9000 spectators watched the event – a record. All five of Federer's games were sold out (9,200 spectators per match).

Next year the sporting event, one of Switzerland's largest, will form part of the ten cities that have been awarded "500" status for the new-look 2009 ATP Tour. The "500" events are designed to complement nine "1000" events, which include the Masters and the World Tour Finals in London.

The winnings at Basel will be almost twice as high as at present, rising from €891,000 (SFr1.3 million) to €1.75 million, and the budget will be raised by SFr2 million to SFr18 million.

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