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Delpo defends Basel to keep Federer waiting


 

Originally published on: 28/10/13 00:00

In a repeat of last year’s final, the top seed claimed a high-quality 7-6(3) 2-6 6-4 victory to lift his fourth title of the season. Federer, who is a five-time champion at his home event, needed to lift the trophy to secure his place in London next week.

However, he moved up to seventh in the Race to London and is just one win away from qualification. Del Potro, who has already qualified for the season finale at The O2, added a fourth ATP 500 trophy to the ones he won in Rotterdam, Washington and Tokyo this year.

“It was similar in intensity, rallies and the emotion of the fans [to the 2012 final],” Del Potro said. “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.

“Normally I feel like him, because I lost in the [2012] Olympics and other important matches against him," said del Potro. "Luck was on my side today and I played better at the end of the match.

“I think Roger is playing well. He played much better when he has the chance to play the top guys. His game improves automatically and looking forward to Paris and London he will be a tough opponent. For me he has the perfect game… and he is a big inspiration. I am very proud to have a good relationship with him, as I have learned a lot as a person and a tennis player."

Federer, who finds himself in Novak Djokovic’s half of the draw at this week’s BNP Paribas Masters in Paris, needs to win his opening match against either Kevin Anderson or Mikhail Youzhny to secure his spot in London.

Youzhny still has a faint chance of qualifying following his victory in Valencia this week, but Stanislas Wawrinka and Richard Gasquet are the favourites to complete the eight-man line-up, with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga hot on their heels.

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