BASEL, SWITZERLAND -- Roger Federer defeated Rafael Nadal 6-3, 5-7, 6-3 on Sunday afternoon in the Swiss Indoors Open final. With the win, Federer captured his seventh title in his hometown tournament Basel and number 88 of his career.
After saving one match point with a line-striking shot off the Federer serve, Nadal sent a forehand long on the Swiss’ second match point. A completely packed Centre Court erupted with the “out” call, while Federer leaped in victory.
Recap Federer's and Nadal’s path to the Basel final.
Federer Captures Opening Set
A sense of urgency seemed to kick in for Nadal after he dropped his serve with a shot wide to give Federer the chance to serve out the match. The Spaniard stole a couple of points with dazzling shots to get it to 30-all, but Federer stopped him short just like he did so many other times in the match.
Just as he finished, Nadal started out aggressively. However, in the sixth game of the first set, Federer turned the tables on Nadal. While on the run, the Swiss number one ripped a blistering forehand winner across the court, which just dropped in.
The tournament number three seed, Nadal, did everything right on the point. He hit a deep looping return off the Federer serve before following it up with a strong and flattened cross-court shot. Yet, Federer got just enough racket on the ball to hit a shot directly in front of the net-approaching Nadal.
Federer followed up the spoiled break opportunity by crushing two big serves to hold. Nadal would see a few more half-chances to break in the following two Federer service games, but was unable to capitalize.
Often during the more important points, the Swiss suppressed the Nadal threat with a thundering serve. Federer’s serve was hugely effective and he recorded 12 aces in the match, averaging nearly one per service game.
After starting out the match playing slightly edgy, Federer began executing more aggressively than his counterpart. He won 68 percent of his first serve points while stroking 16 winners in the first set. At the same time, Nadal still showed signs of lower confidence when he crumbled under pressure and dropped his serve at love to hand Federer the set by a score of 6-3.
Nadal Storms Back To Force A Third
The second set saw a much more solid Nadal, who saved the only break point he faced. The Spaniard served much more effectively, winning 72 percent of his first-serve points and 73 percent of his second-serve points.
Each man held serve throughout the first 10 games of the set. Tied at five games all with Federer serving, Nadal threw a couple of curveballs and changed up the pace leading to a couple of Swiss errors; he would eventually break.
With the lead at six games to five, Nadal came alive and seemed to return to his vintage style. He played fluidly and without hesitation, ripping winners off both wings as he held his serve at love and took the second set 7-5.
Federer Gets Late Break To Capture Title
The final set played similarly, as the second for the most part, until Nadal’s fourth service game. Federer turned up the heat, applying pressure and later forced the break. The world number three won an astounding 81 percent of his first-serve points in the third set.
Although making a few attempts, the sneak-attack-by-Roger (SABR), proved unsuccessful aside from possibly causing a mental hindrance in Nadal’s game. Most of the attempts ended with an errant shot into the net or a thumping passing shot from Nadal.
Despite the loss, Nadal came out smiling and showed plenty of fight during the tournament. In his post-match speech, the Spaniard thanked the fans and praised them for how supportive they were. He then grinned as he teased the predominantly Swiss fans for being on Federer’s side in the final.
“You [the fans] have been great, although today a little less, but I understand.”
Federer and Nadal finished up the evening by handing out medals to the ball boys before heading to the locker room. Both men with gear up to play in the final Masters 1000 event of the year in Paris before heading to London for the year-end finals tournament.
Round one action in Paris begins Monday, November 2.
|3 Roger Federer (SUI)||6||5||6|
|7 Rafael Nadal (ESP)||3||7||3|