Federer beats De Minaur for 10th Basel title; Osaka off to winning start at Finals - GulfToday

Federer beats De Minaur for 10th Basel title; Osaka off to winning start at Finals


Switzerland’s Roger Federer celebrates with the trophy after winning the final against Australia’s Alex de Minaur at Basel Open on Sunday. Reuters

Roger Federer made light work of Australian young gun Alex De Minaur 6-2, 6-2 in the final to claim 10th Basel title on Sunday. The ageing Federer showed no signs of slowing down at 38 as he clinched 103rd trophy of the career and fourth title of the season after victories in Dubai, Miamai and Halle.

He is now trailing men’s title record of American Jimmy Connors by a thin margin of just six.  With age catching up and time running out, Federer have no room for errors if he wants to rewrite the history books.

Federer’s victory was his 80th in Basel and extended his win streak at his hometown tournament to 24 matches. His last defeat here came in the 2013 final to Juan Martin del Potro.

Meanwhile, Naomi Osaka and Ashleigh Barty both made winning starts at the WTA Finals on Sunday in a demanding opening day of the $14 million round-robin tournament.

Barty joined the Japanese star at the top of Red Group with a 5-7, 6-1, 6-2 romp over Belinda Bencic in one hour and 56 minutes. The result also secured the year-end No.1 ranking for the Australian.

In-form Osaka outclassed Petra Kvitova 7-6 (7/1), 4-6, 6-4 in two hours and 39 minutes to notch her first victory at the WTA Finals after a winless campaign in her debut appearance last year.

With the victory, she stretched her current winning streak to 11 matches after already having won the titles in Osaka and Beijing.

In a rematch of this year’s tense Australian Open final, world No.6 Kvitova came out with intent and dominated the first set until she stuttered in the eighth game with three double faults to squander the game.

Osaka held off two break points in the ninth game before dominating the tiebreak to draw first blood. It seemed to shake the Czech’s confidence but Kvitova, the oldest player in the draw, impressively bounced back in the second set and took advantage of an error-strewn Osaka, who several times slammed her racquet in frustration, to restore the parity with both the players tied at one each.

A refocused Osaka put the foot down in the deciding set but could not convert two match points in the eighth game before finally closing it out in the 10th.

In the later match, Barty came back from a torrid first set marred by 20 unforced errors and being unable to crack Bencic’s confident serve.


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