When Roger Federer passed Rafael Nadal

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In 2018, world no. 3 and the top seed Roger Federer won the ninth title in his hometown of Basel following a hard-fought 7-6, 6-4 triumph over Marius Copil in an hour and 34 minutes. Competing in his 14th Basel final, Roger delivered the 71st victory in front of the home fans and lifted his 99th ATP title.

Also, Federer secured his 21st ATP 500 title, leaving Rafael Nadal on 20. Roger defeated five rivals despite not playing at his best, achieving the 200th ATP semi-final and celebrating the 25th ATP indoor crown. Like never before in Basel, Roger got broken 11 times in the opening four matches against Filip Krajinovic, Jan-Lennard Struff, Gilles Simon and Daniil Medvedev.

In the final, Copil stole his serve twice and had the advantage in both sets before crumbling under pressure to waste the opportunity for a much better result. Roger was magnificent behind his first serve, winning 32 out of 34 points and fending off three out of five break chances.

He created the same number of opportunities on the other side and seized three to wrap up the victory in straight sets and made the crowd erupt in joy. The Swiss had 22 winners and 14 unforced errors, while Copil stood on a 25-31 ratio.

The Romanian played brave and aggressive tennis and gave his best against the mighty rival without taking at least a set.

Roger Federer won his ninth Basel trophy over Marius Copil in 2018.

The Romanian drew first blood in the third game when Roger hit a double fault.

Marius fired a backhand winner in the next one to confirm the break and forge a 3-1 lead. Federer broke back in the sixth game after Copil’s poor drop shot, and they both served well after that to reach a tie break. Roger scored his only mini-break in the seventh point and forced Marius’ error at 6-5 to secure the breaker after 46 minutes.

Copil was there to fight in set number two again, clinching a break in the second game when Federer’s forehand landed into the net. The Romanian fended off two break points in the fifth game with service winners to open a 4-1 gap and move closer to forcing a decider.

Federer stayed focused and broke back with a smash winner in game seven for a massive boost. The home star secured another break at 4-4 to move in front. Serving for the title in game ten, Federer saved a break chance and sealed the deal, rattling off five straight games to secure his 99th ATP trophy.

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