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Rediff.com  » Sports » Federer completes hometown hat-trick

Federer completes hometown hat-trick

October 27, 2008 11:23 IST

Roger Federer won his hometown tournament for a record third straight year Sunday by beating Argentine second seed David Nalbandian 6-3 6-4 in the Swiss Indoors final.

The world number two broke Nalbandian once in each set, easing through a one-sided encounter to maintain his dominance at the tournament where he once worked as a ballboy.

Nalbandian came into the match with a relatively impressive record of eight wins from 17 previous meetings with the Swiss 13-time Grand Slam champion, but never looked likely to celebrate a ninth victory Sunday.

Federer's service game was particularly impressive with the top seed producing eight aces and dropping just seven points on serve as he wrapped up victory without handing a single break point to his opponent.

"I am overjoyed," said Federer after punching the air to rapturous applause from his home crowd at the end of the match. "I served well and played aggressively so I couldn't ask for more today.

"There are two tournaments that I always dreamed about winning as a boy -- Wimbledon and Basel. When you realise a childhood dream and realise it again and again then it's one of those places that you just want to keep winning even more at."

Federer hit two aces in the opening game in what proved to be a taste of what was coming Nalbandian's way.

FOREHAND WINNER

The Argentine world number eight struggled to make much headway with his own serve and did well to defend five break points in his second service game.

He was unable to repeat the feat two games later however when Federer produced a forehand winner down the line to earn another break chance with Nalbandian overhitting a forehand on the next shot to finally surrender the lead.

He was broken again early in the second set by a fierce Federer backhand cross-court winner and could find no way back after that.

"I would like to congratulate Roger on a great match, which was almost perfect -- but I think he missed one shot," Nalbandian joked in an on-court interview.

"It's hard to compare all our matches because I have to think back through about ten years, but I would say that was one his best matches against me," Nalbandian later added.

Sunday's title victory was the 57th of Federer's career and continued his strong finish to a mixed season.

Federer surrendered the world number one ranking to Spanish rival Rafael Nadal in August but has lost just one match since then -- against Britain's Andy Murray in the semi-finals of last week's Madrid Masters.

He won an Olympic gold medal in doubles two days before losing the number one spot and went on last month to clinch his fifth U.S. Open title and steer Switzerland back into the top tier of the Davis Cup.

"It really hasn't been too bad a year," Federer said. "Next year I want to get the number one spot and maybe win a few more Masters Series events but otherwise I'll be happy to stay at generally the same level."

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