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Federer finally wins on home turf

Roger Federer has finally added the Swiss Indoors to his list of wins Keystone

World number one Roger Federer has won his very first Swiss Indoors tennis tournament in his hometown Basel.

Federer beat last year’s winner Fernando Gonzalez of Chile on Sunday 6-3, 6-2, 7-6 to triumph at the competition – one of the only titles to have eluded him.

The Swiss star had twice previously reached the Swiss Indoors final, and injuries forced him out of the last two tournaments.

Sunday’s victory is his fourth straight title and 11th win of the year. Now he only has to add the French Open to his list of triumphs.

The 25-year-old Federer, coming off a tough, three-set victory over Paradorn Srichaphan in the semifinals, took control of the first set and then tore through the second set.

He overpowered Gonzalez, hitting 14 aces and breaking his serve three times. The Chilean fought back in the third set but Federer came through to win it 7-6.

The final was a rematch of last week’s Madrid Masters final, also won by Federer in three sets.

Beautiful moment

“It is one of the most beautiful moments of my career,” Federer said after winning the tournament where he once worked as a ball boy.

“Although I always wanted to be a professional tennis player, I never dreamed as a ball boy that I would one day be champion here. It’s unbelievable.”

It very nearly might have been an all-Swiss final. Stanislas Wawrinka had an astonishing run, including beating second-seed David Nalbandian, to reach the semifinals before crashing out to Gonzalez on Saturday.

Federer has beaten Gonzalez all nine times they have met. “Today I was really unlucky to play Roger,” Gonzalez said. “He’s winning every week.”

The Swiss has not lost since being upset by Andy Murray in Cincinnati in August. His record this year is 87-5 and last week he became the first player in the Open era to win ten titles for three straight years.

He had twice previously reached the final in Basel, but lost to Thomas Enqvist in 2000 and to Tim Henman a year later. He missed the past two years because of injuries.

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In the past such tennis legends as Björn Borg (1977), Yvan Lendl (1980 and 1981), Yannick Noah (1982 and 1987), Stefan Edberg (1985, 1986, 1987), Jim Courier (1989), John McEnroe (1990), Boris Becker (1992) and Pete Sampras (1996) have all made their mark in Basel.

Roger Federer has twice lost in the final – to Thomas Enqvist from Sweden (2000) and Tim Henman from Britain (2001).

Since the tournament was established in 1970, two Swiss players have won the tournament – Michel Burgener (1972) and Jakob Hlasek (1991).

The 37th Swiss Indoors took place from October 21-29 at the St Jakobshalle in Basel.
It is the biggest Swiss sporting event with a budget of SFr12 million and prize money of SFr1.5 million, and the third biggest indoor tournament on the ATP tour.
This year 70,000 people attended the tournament, said the organisers.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR