Federer captures 6th Basel crown, continues No.1 quest

Roger Federer further closed the gap with Novak Djokovic in the battle for year-end No. 1, claiming his sixth Swiss Indoors Basel title 6-2, 6-2 over David Goffin on Sunday.

The hometown hero denied the young gun his third title of the year and has clawed to within striking distance of Djokovic for the top spot in the ATP Race To London. Federer finds himself less than 500 points behind the Serb with a combined 2,500 up for grabs between next week's BNP Paribas Masters and the season finale ATP World Tour Finals.

"It would be very special to reclaim No. 1," said Federer. "World No. 1 is what it's all about in our game. With the year I have had and the amount of finals I have played, the level of tennis I have played, I am pleased to see that I have a shot. But having a shot and being there is two separate things. I am sure that Novak is going to come in very motivated, just after having a baby. I am very happy for him. There are clearly interesting weeks ahead."

The Swiss, who was contesting his 11th Basel final, won his sixth title in eight years and first since 2011. He captured his 82nd tour-level trophy overall, extending his win streak to 12 straight after emerging victorious at the Shanghai Rolex Masters earlier this month.

In total, Federer has won six titles or more at six tournaments - Dubai (6), Halle (7), Wimbledon (7), Cincinnati (6), Basel (6), and ATP World Tour Finals (6).

The top seed snatched the opening break of the match in the first game and cruised from there, securing an early break for 3-2 in the second set and closing out the victory after just 51 minutes. He fired five aces and 19 winners, winning an impressive 93 per cent of second serve points.

"It is always such a treat to be in the final here, receiving a standing ovation from the crowd," said Federer. "It's why I play tennis, why I play the tournament here in Basel. It will remain very special for me personally.

''I'm very pleased how well I'm playing,'' Federer said. ''It was a great final, I think I played really well and I'm full of confidence now.

''I was expecting it to be tough and him taking charge at times but I think I was really able to control the match with my serve and then with my variation on the return. I think I did really well, I was fresh today, it was again a fifth day of tennis for me in a row and I'm happy I'm able to keep it up time and time again, week after week.

"It is not easy to be down and react in a best-of-three-set match. You can only try your best and David did that. He had a great week and I think he plays wonderful tennis. I wish him all the best for next year and I hope we will see more of him. I think he is a fan favourite with his shot making and his attitude."

Federer takes home $352,355 and 500 ATP Rankings points, improving to an ATP World Tour-leading 66-10 record in 2014 and 56-9 in Basel. Runner-up Goffin earns $158,860 and 300 points for his efforts.

"It was a tough match, of course," admitted Goffin. "Here in his hometown, he was in great shape and played too good for me today. At the beginning of the match I was a little bit nervous, especially a final against Roger. It's not easy to return his serve. That’s why it was a nightmare for me today. I made a lot of mistakes and I didn’t serve well, but it has been a good week for me. I will try to do better next time."

Goffin, who had won 43 of 45 matches (including on the ATP Challenger Tour) since Wimbledon, fell to 24-14 on the ATP World Tour this year. The Belgian was seeking his third title of the year following triumphs on the clay of Kitzbühel and indoor hard courts of Metz. He will conclude his 2014 campaign at the BNP Paribas Masters, opening against Lukas Rosol.

Date: 26th October 2014, Source: ATP and AP


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