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Federer vs Copil ATP Basel live streaming, preview and tips - Federer targets 99th career title and ninth Basel crown

Andrew Hendrie in ATP Tour 27 Oct 2018
  • Roger Federer vs Marius Copil is live from Basel at 3.00pm local time on Sunday (2.00pm GMT)
  • First career meeting between the pair
Roger Federer (Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)

Roger Federer goes in search of his ninth Swiss Indoors title in Basel on Sunday when he takes on big-serving qualifier Marius Copil in the final.

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Aiming to secure his ninth crown in Basel and the 99th title of his career, Roger Federer squares off against surprise finalist Marius Copil on Sunday in what will be his 14th final at the tournament he used to ballboy at as a kid.

Federer’s path to the final has been anything but smooth sailing, with the Swiss dropping sets against Filip Krajinovic and Gilles Simon and struggling to close out Jan-Lennard Struff, but the 37-year-old produced his most clinical performance of the week in Saturday’s semi-finals against Daniil Medvedev, conquering the Tokyo champion by a 6-1 6-4 scoreline. However, Federer did once again find it difficult to close out the match after racing out to a set and double break lead in just over 30 minutes, allowing the Russian to scramble his way back into the contest. In the end Medvedev’s late-night finish against Stefanos Tsitsipas caught up to him and he ultimately succumbed, but it was yet another sign of sloppiness from Federer as he attempts to reign supreme for the ninth time in Basel.

"I don't think Daniil maybe played as well as then [in Shanghai]. Conditions are different, maybe also his legs were a little bit heavy. He's played a lot of tennis the past few weeks, so I understand," Federer said. "For me, it goes on. I'm really super-excited to be in another final here in Basel and I hope I can defend my title tomorrow."

Federer improved to 14-1 in Basel semi-finals with the win, meaning he has now reached the final at the tournament in his last 12 straight appearances, while his only loss in the final four came back in 2002 against David Nalbandian. Another title triumph on Sunday would mean Federer could potentially win his 100th career title at either next week’s Rolex Paris Masters or the season-ending Nitto ATP Finals in London. Jimmy Connors holds the record for most career titles with 109.

It was always going to be tough for Federer to emulate his stunning resurgence from 2017, where he won the Australian Open, Indian Wells, Miami, Halle, Wimbledon, Shanghai and Basel to return to No. 1 in the world. It appeared as if he could do it again after Federer successfully defended his Australian Open crown to launch 2018, but he’s only been able to win two titles since in Rotterdam and Stuttgart, with the 37-year-old suffering a number of surprising defeats to the likes of Thanasi Kokkinakis (Miami), Borna Coric (Halle, Shanghai), Kevin Anderson (Wimbledon) and John Millman (U.S. Open). But, if he can take home another Basel title and emerge triumphant at the year-end championships in London, Federer will take immense confidence into the 2019 season.

Marius Copil (Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)
Marius Copil is the man that stands between Federer and a ninth Basel trophy. The Romanian has put together the best week of his career in Basel, advancing to his first ATP 500 final after qualifying for the main draw with wins over Mischa Zverev and Dusan Lajovic before eliminating Ryan Harrison and Taylor Fritz, along with registering his first two top 10 wins over Marin Cilic and Alexander Zverev. Copil didn’t drop a set on his way to Saturday’s semi-final showdown with Zverev, but even after he relinquished the second in a tiebreak to the German, the 28-year-old bounce back immediately to prevail 6-3 6-7(6) 6-4 to reach the biggest final of his career.

"It's been an unbelievable week for me so far," Copil said. "Before coming here, I was fighting and struggling to have the [ATP Ranking] points to finish [the year in the] Top 100, and that was in my mind. I was trying to win one or two matches here just to stay there. But now being in the final, it's an unbelievable achievement for me."

Indeed, Copil was fighting to secure a spot in the Australian Open main draw before this week, but courtesy of his run to the final in Basel, he will rise from No. 93 to at least a career-high ranking of No. 60 - and if he can stun Federer, that mark would move to around No. 43. Federer has never lost a final to someone ranked as low as Copil, while the Romanian is also the lowest-ranked finalist in Basel since a No. 100 Patrick McEnroe in 1994.

While he’s still trying to cement himself as a top 100 player (this week has certainly helped with that), Copil is no stranger to making ATP finals indoors, having done so in February earlier this year when he went down to Mirza Basic in the Sofia final. But Sunday’s showdown with Federer will be by far the biggest match of Copil’s career.

Equipped with a booming serve and fierce groundstrokes, Copil has always had the weapons to hang with the very best players in the world, but this week he’s managed to find some sustained quality and put together back-to-back high-level performances - something he hasn’t been able to do before. Of course Federer is the overwhelming favourite and the Swiss will be confident from his clinical win over Medvedev, but he also must be weary of an in-form Copil, especially as he’s given up winning positions in every match he’s played this week. But at the end of the day, I would be shocked if Federer didn’t find a way to emerge victorious and take home title No. 99 on Sunday.

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Federer vs Copil ATP Basel live streaming, preview and tips - Federer targets 99th career title and ninth Basel crown

Roger Federer goes in search of his ninth Swiss Indoors title in Basel on Sunday when he takes on big-serving qualifier Marius Copil in the final.

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