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Federer Beats Nishikori To Claim Fifth Basel Crown

Basel, Switzerland

Federer© AFP/Getty ImagesFederer triumphed in Basel for the fifth time on Sunday.

Home favourite Roger Federer won his fifth crown at the Swiss Indoors Basel on Sunday, dismissing Kei Nishikori 6-1, 6-3 in their first FedEx ATP Head 2 Head meeting. The victory gives Federer five titles or more at an event for the fifth time. “I’m very happy, as I got better as the week went on,” stated Federer. “I definitely saved the best for last at the tournament. I played really well today in the final.”

With the win, Federer claimed his 68th career title and second in 2011 after beginning the season by defeating Nikolay Davydenko in the Doha final. He snapped his longest title drought since 2001-2002, when he went 11 months between his first two titles in Milan and Sydney.  “I’m feeling really fit and I’m ready for more,” Federer said. “I’m very hungry and fired up.”

The Swiss broke serve to start the match and overwhelmed Nishikori in the first set, winning 12 of 13 service points while converting three breaks of serve to take the set in 29 minutes.

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After holding serve to begin the second set, Federer immediately pressured Nishikori’s serve before the 21 year old managed to hold for the first time since the third game of the match. But the World No. 4 continued to press the Japanese star, breaking him to move ahead 4-2. Nishikori saw his first break point of the match in Federer’s final service game, but the 30 year old closed the door to clinch the trophy in one hour and 12 minutes. “I think I started a little bit nervous even though at the same time I was excited to play in the final here with Roger,” Nishikori said.

“I’m a bit disappointed with how I played today, as it didn’t go well, but it’s always going to be tough against him… His tennis was too good for me. I felt like I couldn’t do anything.”

Nishikori was bidding to win his second title and first since triumphing in Delray Beach three years ago. The runner-up finish is his second of the season, having also reached the final in Houston (l. to Sweeting). “Every match is a good experience, especially when you’re playing Top 10 guys,” believes Nishikori. “It’s a different level and I’ve learned from these matches.”

The two will now head to Paris for the BNP Paribas Masters, the final event of the regular season. "I haven’t been able to win in Paris yet, so I hope to do some damage over there," said Federer.

"I was really close last year. I’m confident with what’s still to come but it’s only getting tougher from here. It’s only the beginning of the last push of the season."

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