Federer ends Nole’s run in Basel

Second seed Novak Djokovic failed in attempt to defend his title and win his third ATP World Tour trophy of the season on Sunday. Top-seeded Roger Federer won 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 in 1 hour and 54 minutes in the finals of the Swiss Indoors Basel.

Roger holds a 12-6 advantage against Nole.

Novak was down 15-40 in the opening game of the match, but he pulled it back to deuce with some fine serving before going on to hold as Federer hit successive backhands in the net. Djokovic earned a break point in the second game, but the Swiss saved the game and his serve with two aces followed by a wonderful forehand winner. We saw first break of the match in the third game; Federer then consolidated the break to increase his lead to 4-1. The top seed earned a set point with an ace, but Nole leveled with a great return and then an unforced error from Federer gave a break point opportunity to Nole! The 23-year-old from Belgrade didn’t use the chance and Roger took the set 6-4 in 49 minutes.

Nole raced through the opening game without dropping a point. The Serb took the lead in the second game and earned two break points after two unforced errors from Federer. He capitalised on the first and then held comfortably for 3-0 lead. Federer was leading 40-0 in the eighth game but Nole pushed him to deuce. The Swiss double faulted to hand Djokovic a break/set point but saved it with an ace. Nole faced scare serving for the set, but held to clinch the set 6-3 in 38 minutes.

The world no.3 lost the momentum in the third set. He was broken twice, in the fourth and sixth games, and the set and match went to Federer, who won the trophy in his hometown for the fourth time.

“Overall it was a good week,” said Novak after the match. “The only thing today, which I think was bad, was the third set. I lost a little bit of balance and a little bit of focus and in a split second I was already 5-1 down and there was no way back. I’d definitely like to congratulate Roger; he was the better player today. It was a great atmosphere, it’s always a packed house here, especially the last couple of days of the tournament.”

“I like playing here. I’ve had a lot of success in these two years and hopefully I’ll come back next year. It’s a great tournament and it would be a pleasure to play here in 2011.”

Match statistics: aces (4-6), double faults (2-4), winners (37-45), unforced errors (25-21), total points won (79-87).

Djokovic is heading to Paris tomorrow. He will play at the BNP Paribas Masters, the last ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament of the year (€2,750,000 prize money).

Novak is no.2 seed. He will start his bid for his title defence in the second round against the winner of the match between American Sam Querrey and Argentine Juan Monaco.

Last year Novak clinched his 16th career title with a fantastic three sets win over homecrowd favourite Gael Monfils 6-2, 5-7, 7-6(3).

The winner of the tournament will get 1000 ATP points and €450,000.

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