He has been making the right improvements throughout the year. He is, basically, right there again
Juan Martin del Potro halted a run of seven straight defeats to Roger Federer to claim his fourth title of the season at the Swiss Indoors Basel
The 24-year-old Argentine, who last defeated the world No.1 in the round robin stages of the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in 2009, beat the home favourite for the third time in his career to take home his 13th career ATP title.
“It was an unbelievable final, the match was really close,” said del Potro after edging a surprisingly wasteful Federer 6-4 6-7(5) 7-6(3) in two hours and 45 minutes. “After seven losses, it was a big win for me. I was fighting all the time. I got lucky in the end, but I felt that I played a really good match.
“I was focussed on my defensive game, keeping the ball in play and building my confidence in order to break his serve. It was tough for both of us.”
Victory earned del Potro his second straight title, following Vienna the previous week, and marks his first ATP 500 crown since he won Washington in 2009 prior to his maiden Grand Slam triumph at the US Open.
“I want to enjoy this title, then get ready to play in Paris and in London,” added the Argentine, who had bettered Alejandro Falla, Brian Baker, Kevin Anderson and Richard Gasquet before denying Federer a sixth triumph in Basel.
"He has been playing really well this season,” admitted the Swiss, who had only narrowly survived a 36-game deciding set in their previous meeting at the London Olympics.
“I have played him seven times [this year]. Every time, I can see he is extremely tough,” continued the world No.1, who believes the former world No.4 is back to his best. “He has been making the right improvements throughout the year. He is, basically, right there again."