Roger Federer is one win away from a record 10th Swiss Indoors title in Basel as he prepares to face rising Australian star Alex de Minaur in Sunday’s final.
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Nine-time Swiss Indoors champion Roger Federer brings a 23-match Basel winning streak into Sunday’s final showdown with Alex de Minaur.
It’s been yet another dominant week for Federer in Basel, with the 38-year-old not dropping more than four games in a set to advance to another final. Federer started his campaign with a 6-2 6-1 win over Peter Gojowczyk and 6-0 6-3 triumph over Radu Albot to make the quarter-finals, where he received a walkover from compatriot Stan Wawrinka after he injured his back in closing out Frances Tiafoe in the second round. Federer then returned to action in the semi-finals on Saturday against Stefanos Tsitsipas, raising his level towards the end of the first set and the beginning of the second as he completed a clinical 6-4 6-4 victory over the young Greek.
“It was nice to come out strong. It was a really intense 35 or 40 minutes to start. I had a good middle section which gave me the first set and the lead in the second set, and never looked back,” Federer said. “It’s hard to believe that I’m in another Basel final. It’s super exciting.”
Federer is now 74-9 in Basel and has reached the final a staggering 13 years in a row, with his only defeats since 2003 coming against Novak Djokovic and Juan Martin del Potro. The Swiss is into his sixth final of the season, which is second only to Daniil Medvedev, while his win over Tsitsipas was his 50th of 2019.
The 38-year-old continues to defy his age, with Federer winning three titles so far in 2019 to break the 100-title barrier, prevailing in Dubai, Miami and Halle, while he also finished runner-up at Indian Wells and Wimbledon to remain in the top three behind Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal. At the same time, there’s been a lot of heartbreak – primarily his loss to Djokovic in the Wimbledon final after missing out on two championship points. That defeat seemed to scar Federer for his next tournaments, with the 20-time major champion losing in the Round of 16 in Cincinnati to Andrey Rublev and the quarter-finals of the U.S. Open and Shanghai Masters to Grigor Dimitrov and Alexander Zverev, but he’s back to winning ways in Basel and is on the cusp of a record 10th title at the 500-level tournament.
Alex de Minaur (PA Images)
Alex de Minaur is the man who will be trying to become just the third player since 2003 to beat Federer in Basel. The Australian has continued his sizzling late-season form this week after entering the tournament as a wildcard, defeating Hugo Dellien, Taylor Fritz and Jan-Lennard Struff in straight sets before edging Reilly Opelka in a deciding set tiebreak in Saturday’s semi-finals. De Minaur produced an incredible display against the giant Opelka, making zero unforced errors in the second and third sets and just four for the entire match as he registered his fourth win over the big-serving American this year.
“I can’t wait. It’s my first time here in Basel and it’s been a hell of an experience,” De Minaur said about the prospect of facing Federer in the final. “I’ve got my friends with me, so it’s a little bit different and it’s been paying off. I’m really looking forward to coming out tomorrow and having some fun.”
A little over a month ago, de Minaur had never beaten a top 20 player, despite a meteoric rise into the top 30 over the last two seasons. However, that’s all changed now, with the Australian scoring a big win over Kei Nishikori to reach the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the first time at the U.S. Open, while he claimed his second top 10 scalp over Roberto Bautista Agut and also a top 15 win over Borna Coric to win the Zhuhai title a few weeks ago. De Minaur, who struggled with a groin injury earlier this season that sidelined him for two months and saw him win just three of 10 matches upon his return, has also won titles in Sydney and Atlanta this season and will make his top 20 debut when the new rankings are released on Monday courtesy of his run in Basel.
However, it goes without saying de Minaur faces a massive challenge to win his fourth title of 2019 against Federer. The Swiss has been cruising all week and played his best tennis of the tournament against Tsitsipas in the semis. De Minaur will get a lot of balls back and make Federer work from side to side, but if the 38-year-old plays to the level he has all week, he should have too much class and variety for the Aussie. Expect Federer to pick up a 10th Basel title and fourth trophy of the season on Sunday.
Federer vs De Minaur ATP Basel live streaming, preview and tips – Federer aiming for record 10th Swiss Indoors title
Roger Federer is one win away from a record 10th Swiss Indoors title in Basel as he prepares to face…
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