Roger Federer cannot buy a title it seems, not even in his own backyard.
The Swiss master, arguably the greatest men's player the sport of tennis has ever seen, continued his struggles as Juan Martin Del Potro, young and sprightly, his weak knees notwithstanding, outlasted his opponent in the Swiss Indoors final in Basel.
Roger Federer and Juan MArtin Del Potro pose with their spoils after the ?Swiss Indoors final, October 27
Del Potro and Federer had been there and done that last year, with the result the same as the one on Sunday. In a tense three-setter, Del Potro managed to pull off a 7-6 (7-3), 2-6, 6-4 victory over Federer to clinch his second straight Swiss Indoors title.
"It was similar in intensity, rallies and the emotion of the fans (to the 2012 final)," said Del Potro. "The fans were cheering for him a lot, but they also respected me. They made a fantastic atmosphere. I think we played the best match of the tournament today [Sunday].
"I'm sorry again to beat you here," added the former US Open champ with a smile. "It's always a pleasure to play Roger. He's the hero here and for me my biggest inspiration. "You make history at every tournament you play. I'm proud to be playing at the same time as you."
The bright spot for Federer comes from the fact that he now only needs one win at the Paris Masters to qualify for the season-ending eight-player ATP World Tour Championships in London, a tournament which Del Potro has already qualified for.
"I did hand the break over to him [Del Potro] too easily in the third set, but overall I did well," said Federer, looking at the positives. "I could have maybe won the first set, but in the second set I was getting better and better. It is a pity that I couldn't have been tougher in the third.
"He did really well to serve it out. The last few of his service games were very solid. I was happy that after a lot of tough matches, I was able to withstand the challenge physically. The atmosphere was amazing. I really appreciate the crowd support."
In the Valencia Open final, home favourite David Ferrer suffered an upset at the hands of Mikhail Youzhny with the Russian beating the defending champion 6-3, 7-5 to clinch the title.
"The truth is that Youzhny played very good," said a disappointed Ferrer. "He sliced and served very well. He was more comfortable then me on court, I was missing my touch."
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