Home, Sweet Home: Roger Shines, Claiming Title No. 99

Federer earns his ninth trophy at his hometown event in Basel

Roger Federer won his 99th tour-level title on Sunday, defeating qualifier Marius Copil 7-6(5), 6-4 to triumph in front of his home crowd at the Swiss Indoors Basel for the ninth time.

The Swiss, who was a ball boy in Basel as a child, has now won 20 consecutive matches there, extending his career record to 71-9. Federer has lifted the trophy at the ATP World Tour 500-level tournament in four consecutive appearances, and the 37-year-old has reached the final the past 12 times he's played the event.

"To come through and win again here in my hometown, never knowing if this might be your last time that you had the opportunity to play a final, maybe win for the last time here in my city, it obviously means a lot to me and it becomes very emotional," Federer said.

The victory brings Federer within one title of the century mark, which only Jimmy Connors, with 109 tour-level singles titles, has reached. The top seed also leaves Basel with his fourth trophy of the season, a feat he has now accomplished 14 times.

Most Titles Federer Has Won By Tournament

 Tournament  Titles
 Swiss Indoors Basel  9
 Gerry Weber Open  9
 Wimbledon  8
 Western & Southern Open  7
 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships  7

Federer entered the match having never lost a tour-level final to anyone placed as low in the ATP Rankings as No. 93 Copil. But the Romanian, who earned his first two Top 10 wins earlier in the week against No. 6 Marin Cilic and No. 5 Alexander Zverev, showed no fear.

For the third time in four days, Federer fell behind an early break. Copil entered the match leading all players at the tournament in service games won (48/50) and break points saved (19/21). But Federer battled through the ensuing tie-break to take the lead.

The Romanian dug in, though, once again breaking early in the second set en route to a 4-1 lead. Copil dazzled the Swiss crowd with a number of impressive one-handed topspin backhand lobs for clean winners, and his booming serve frustrated the home favourite.

But Federer would not be denied by the 28-year-old. After breaking the two-time ATP World Tour finalist twice more, the second time when Copil missed a forehand wide by just milimetres, Federer closed out his title at the first time of asking, triumphing after one hour and 34 minutes.

"I was tense today. I was nervous. But it started more throughout the game, because I couldn't really get my game going the way I was hoping for it to go against Copil," said Federer, who adds 500 ATP Ranking points and €427,765 in prize money. "But he did very well. I think he came out and he played nice tennis. Thankfully I was really good this week by taking my opportunities, especially on the return of serve, and I think that's what got me the victory this week."

It was a dream week for Copil, who adds 300 ATP Ranking points, which will send him to a career-best of World No. 60 on Monday. The Romanian, who was trying to become the 14th first-time winner on the ATP World Tour this year, leaves Basel with €209,715 as the runner-up.

"I would love for it to be the beginning of my career at this level," said Copil. "It was an amazing week. Coming here, I was fighting in order to play and to stay in the Top 100... after this amazing week, I've just gained a lot of confidence in myself and I saw that I can play a much higher level of tennis and I could keep it up."

Did You Know?
Federer will try to claim a record seventh title at the Nitto ATP Finals, to take place at The O2 in London from 11-18 November. If he triumphs, it will be the Swiss’ first title at the season finale since 2011.