Federer, Sousa Claim Weekend ATP Titles
by Staff | November 1st, 2015, 8:14 pm

Federer-Nadal Heavyweight Basel Final Stays with Swiss

Roger Federer beat Rafael Nadal for the first time in 3-1/2 years on Sunday, claiming a seventh Basel title with a 6-3, 5-7, 6-3 win over the Spaniard. it was the first win for the Swiss over Nadal since Indian Wells in 2012.
Federer in the third set received a gift break on a Nadal double fault, then eventually broke again for a 5-3 lead before serving it out.

“It was one of my best weeks in Basel, considering everything I’ve done throughout my career here,” said Federer. “I know I’ve had better backhand days and he’s had better forehand days than today, but the match was high quality and it was entertaining and exciting for both of us as well.”

It was the sixth title for Federer this year, and 88th of his career. Nadal dropped to 67-31 in tour finals and 3-3 this year. “Today I was very competitive against one of the best players in the world,” said Nadal. “The match wasn’t far away from me. He played well and I played well too.”

Sousa Storms Back for Valencia Title

Portugal’s Joao Sousa beat Roberto Bautista Agut from a set and a break down 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 on Sunday to win the Valencia Open, his second career title after 2013 Kuala Lumpur.

“I didn’t get into the match as well as I wanted, Roberto was very solid,” said Sousa. “When he was a break up in the second, I decided to change my tactic a bit…I’ve lost five finals before so going into this match I was prepared to give it all until the end and it paid off.”

Sousa entered the match 0-3 in tour finals this year, and improved to 2-5 career in finals. Bautista Agut fell to 2-4 in career finals.

“Unfortunately, my intensity went down and I was very tired in the third set,” the Spaniard said. “I know that I finished the last two matches very late, I also came from Moscow where I reached the final last week. It’s been a long season and obviously this has affected my performance today.”

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12 Comments for Federer, Sousa Claim Weekend ATP Titles

Humble Rafa Says:

“I know I’ve had better backhand days and he’s had better forehand days than today, but the match was high quality and it was entertaining and exciting for both of us as well.”

Comment about your backhand is a universal statement that applies to the last 20 years. What’s wrong with my forehand?

Humble Rafa Says:

To those who keep talking about indoor GOAT, may I remind you that there is no such thing. GOATs live outside, like on other surfaces.

Tennis Vagabond Says:

Great to see Fed get another title. Seems to me that, even during Rafa’s dominance of the sport, Federer always had a major advantage on indoors, where Rafa rarely even made it to the finals. So this is a great result for both, and Rafa was able to use his focus on Fed’s BH to great effect, as usual. Could this be Rafa’s greatest post-US Open season ever?

Enjoy the final stretch of the season, y’all.

Ben Pronin Says:

I’m surprised and relieved at the way Federer won. It was close in the beginning until Nadal gave up what is becoming his typical early match break. Federer then stepped it up and took the first set. I actually think him breaking Nadal to win the first set played a big role in his win. He ended up serving first in the next 2 sets. Even though he lost the second set, it’s still advantageous.

But then Nadal clawed his way back into the match as he’s been doing all week. I really thought the longer the third set would go, the more likely Federer would crack. Credit to him for staying focused and not falling into his usual horrid shot selection patterns he likes to do against Nadal.

There’s certainly a lot of good and bad to take for both guys. Nadal fans are saying that Federer needing 3 sets to beat Nadal indoors is a bad thing for Federer. It kinda is but at the same time that Federer was able to beat Nadal over 3 sets at his age is a good confidence booster for him going forward, regardless of the surface. For Nadal, he was really close to winning. But the same issues still plague him; random forehand errors and terribly timed double faults. Kinda like his match against Tsonga in Shanghai. Goes down early, steps up in the second set, but can’t hold his nerve nearing the finish line.

But considering just a few months ago he was getting wrecked by Nishikori, he’s back to being legitimately competitive against the top 5/top 10.

Paris will be interesting.

Angel Says:

Humble Rafa, you are right there is not such a thing as a Indoor GOAT. Roger is the GOAT of tennis. Good day.

skeezer Says:

“…not falling into his usual horrid shot selection patterns he likes to do against Nadal.”

Ben, glad you mentioned that. It gets old to see Fed wanting to stay back and try to win a topspin war with Nadal. Hello! You usually lose those battles! Watching these two for so long you can almost tell who is going to win the point by the patterns they are in.
Do think switching to the new request has given him some life from the back court,serve and return of serve however. Just wish he did that when he was younger.

elina Says:

Ben you nailed it. Shamooon.

(Just like I did before the match was played.)

Roger winning in three was not a bad thing for Roger at all. It was also good for Nadal, probably the second best match he has played against Roger (other than the one he won).

But Rafa still playing inconsistent at times giving up the early break chronically as you’ve mentioned as a prime example.

As always when these two meet with contrasting styles, very entertaining regardless of the winner.

Now, back to my presumptuous ways, reading too much and hitting with not enough top spin….

elina Says:

On any outdoor clay or hard court however, Nadal wins. They should have played in the parking lot (as long as it wasn’t in a garage).

Roger really is the undisputed indoor GOAT.

Ben Pronin Says:

Skeeze, I was pretty impressed with Federer being able to rally with Nadal quite a bit yesterday. I don’t know the numbers, but it looked like he won his fair share of long points. The thing with Federer against Nadal in recent times is that Federer actually tries to employ a specific strategy against Nadal. But in best of 5, once it starts to falter a bit, Fed seems to sorta give up and go back to his natural game which feeds right into Nadal’s hands.

But in best of 3, he can stay more focused. I thought it was pretty clear Federer was going to continue attacking Nadal’s backhand. I actually thought he should’ve gone to the forehand a few times in some rallies because he had Nadal pinned so far that the opening was there. But he stayed focused, grinded out points when he needed to, and kept his nerve.

But at the end, he started kamikaze-ing to the net Mardy Fish style and I thought he was a little lucky that Nadal missed some shots he normally doesn’t. I don’t know if he was doing it to throw Nadal off on purpose, but it looked more like he just wanted to get it over with. He got a bit lucky. It also doesn’t hurt that he was able to serve his way out of trouble several times.

Tennis Vagabond Says:

Another thing that helped Roger is that Rafa’s groundtsrokes were so cautious. There were a lot of the familiar cross-court to attack the backhand rallies, but just as often Roger was moving Rafa side to side, while Rafa was just laying them back in the middle of the court for Roger.
Roger also could have been more aggressive on his returns, but perhaps the speed of the courts was against him there.

elina Says:

That’s been his problem all year TV although he’s improving but just the fact that Nadal plays as well as he did indoors against Roger was impressive and enough to show he is definitely on the rise again.

dheeraj Says:

Nadal played well, but to judge Nadals form, i would discount this match.
Nadal always plays his very-very best against Federer. Its seems like there is a turbo-charger inside Nadal that turns on whenever he sees Federer. An inner motivation / desire that drives his adrenalin levels many folds up. When Nadal looks at Fed, one can see the “i hate you so much that i’m gonna run and die but wont let you win the point” look in Nadals eyes.

Lets see how Nadal plays against some regular awesome tennis players like Nole, Murray in the coming months. One shall get a better picture of his true form.

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