Federer claims 99th ATP title with Basel triumph

Federer claims 99th ATP title with Basel triumph

Federer had an easier time than in his only previous match against Medvedev, a three-setter at Shanghai two weeks ago.

Federer blew kisses to a 12,000 crowd in the renovated St. Jakobhalle, which now gives Basel's local hero a bigger main stage.

Wimbledon has always been Federer's favoured tournament, using the long break during the claycourt season to best prepare for SW19. 'But of course: titles are one of the reasons why I still play, besides fans, and because I like playing tennis.

"He finished late last night and maybe his legs were a bit heavy".

In the second set, Copil again quickly broke serve and this time held the key fifth game when Federer had two break points.

Seeking a ninth title at his hometown event, and a 99th overall, Federer will play 93th-ranked Marius Copil on Sunday.

Romania's Copil, who eliminated No 2 seed Alexander Zverev on Saturday, stormed into a 3-0 then a 4-1 lead against the world No 3 in the second set.

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"It's been an unbelievable week for me so far", Copil said. "When I came here I was fighting to stay in the top 100".

"But for me now it's about winning here, I don't care about anything else". Now I'm in the final, it's an unreal achievement for me. I know I can play at a high level and keep it up with the great players.

Their first meeting came after Federer amassed 20 Grand Slam singles titles, while Copil has just one career match win at a Grand Slam - in the 2015 Australian Open first round.

The first-set tiebreaker was likely to be crucial given Copil's career record of 8-52 when losing the opening set in top-tier matches.

The 28-year-old outsider fired 26 aces, with his impenetrable service game laying the basis for a surprise win.

In the third, Copil kept pace, with Zverev faltering on serve in the 10th game and his opponent taking advantage with a cross-court volley victor to advance amid cheers for the underdog. "I was hoping to serve well, get some free points". "I think I had very good tactics against him - but I still can't believe this".

His qualification means there are two places still up for grabs ahead of the Paris Masters, with Croatian Marin Cilic, Austrian Dominic Thiem, Nishikori and American John Isner still in the race.

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