Defending a title four consecutive times is a tough ask for anyone. Yet, knowing that world number one Roger Federer has done it multiple times, it’s almost expected. However today at the Davidoff Swiss Indoors Basel, Federer had three elements to grapple with. The yearning not to disappoint his hometown crowd, his foe Novak Djokovic to keep in check and a forehand in absentia. Federer fell short as Djokovic defeated him 6-4,4-6,6-2 to capture the trophy.
With both men hitting their serve well, the first eight games took only 22 minutes. Djokovic in particular had an easy time, surrendering only two points which were double faults. Conversely, Federer was especially poor from the forehand wing. In the ninth game, Roger paid dearly as two forehand errors and a double fault gave Djokovic double break point. When Federer committed another of his numerous forehand errors, Djokovic went ahead 5-4. As Djokovic served for the set, he was afflicted with forehand woes himself. In a game lasting as long as the rest of the set with 11 deuces, Djokovic fought off five break points. When Roger’s forehand crosscourt sailed long, Djokovic had his seventh set point and cashed in when Federer committed a forehand mistake.