BASEL: Novak Djokovic overcame Roger Federer on the world number one’s home ground Sunday, carving out a 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 victory to win the Swiss Indoors title.
It was a Basel debut to remember for the 22-year-old world number three as he turned the momentum in his direction in a 24-minute game of the opening set which featured five break points for Federer and required six set points for the Serb to take the early lead.
Federer, the winner of the last three titles here, got back in harness in the second set through an early break on the way to levelling the final.
But when Djokovic got up a double break in the third, the Swiss top seed was unable to turn the tide.
“It’s disappointing to lose a final at home,” said Federer. “I tried hard, I was just outplayed.
“I was always down in the score and every time I got a momentum shift he would break me again. I could never get any momentum. Things did not go my way at all today.
“It was not like the 2007 US Open final (where he beat Djokovic). There I had more offense from the baseline and was able to dictate.
“But there are no excuses. Novak played tough and saved a ton of break points. I needed to play much better on attack.”
It was Federer’s first loss at home in Basel since the second round in 2003.
When he returned in 2006, he claimed three trophies in a row until Djokovic ended that run in a two-hour upset.
Djokovic won his fifth of 14 career matches the Swiss.
“I played the best match of the week when I really needed it,” said Djokovic, playing in his first indoor final of the year and winner of a first indoor title since the Masters Cup in Shanghai last November.
“The form came at the right moment.”
“Winning in Basel makes my success even more special. We all know how well Roger plays at home – he has won here three times. I’m extremely happy with how I approached the match and my strategy.”
Federer and Djokovic will play the Paris Masters next week, the final event of the ATP regular season.
They have both already qualified for the season-ending World Tour Finals in London from November 22, where seven men will fight for two remaining spots in Paris.