Federer downs old foe Nadal to take Basel title

Sun Nov 1, 2015 3:47pm EST
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BASEL (Reuters) - Roger Federer got the better of old rival Rafa Nadal for the first time in more than three years to win a seventh Basel title 6-3 5-7 6-3 on Sunday.

Top seed Federer, whose rivalry with Nadal is one of the most storied in tennis history, had not beaten the Spaniard since he won a semi-final at Indian Wells in 2012 and had lost their last five matches.

The pair had not met across a net for 21 months, so there was an added sense of anticipation as Federer walked on court for his 12th final in his home city.

He survived a break point in his opening service game before grabbing the upper hand.

The Swiss broke twice to take the opening set and went about putting pressure on third seed Nadal at the start of the second, crafting a break point at 3-2 ahead.

Nadal, however, dug deep to stay in the contest and claimed his first break of the match for a 6-5 lead as Federer netted a backhand, leaving the Mallorcan to serve out to love.

The Swiss broke decisively to lead 5-3 in the third set and served out to take the title, the 88th of his career, after two hours and three minutes of battle.

"It was one of my best weeks in Basel, considering everything I've done throughout my career here," Federer told reporters.

"I thought the match was close. I had my chances in the second, but he fought back well, like he's done throughout the week really. Overall, I was really happy how I played and it was a very special day."   Continued...

Switzerland's Roger Federer holds the trophy after winning his match against Rafael Nadal of Spain at the Swiss Indoors ATP men's tennis tournament in Basel, Switzerland November 1, 2015.   REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann