The Swiss Open is played in Roger Federer’s hometown of Basel, and has always had special significance for him.
As a 12-year-old in 1993, Federer received a medal from Basel champion Michael Stich when he served as a ball boy.
The event has continued to have special meaning for Federer during his historic career, and on Sunday he added another layer of meaning to the tournament.
Top-seeded Federer, 38, won the Swiss Open for a 10th time, beating 20-year-old Alex de Minaur of Australia, 6-2, 6-2, for his fourth title of 2019 and the 103rd title of his career. Jimmy Connors is the all-time men’s leader with 109 tournament wins.
Currently ranked No. 3 in the world, Federer has not indicated when he might retire but the chase to tie and break Connors’ record could potentially keep him playing into 2021 and beyond. He will turn 40 in 2021.
“It was fast but very nice,” Federer said, per ATP.com. “I think I played a great match. It was a tough opener, in the beginning, the first five games, we had some great rallies. I never looked back. I was great on the offense, made very few unforced errors and came up with the big shots and served well when I had to.
“I thought Alex played a great tournament as well, and I think we both can be very happy. But what a moment for me to win my 10th here in my hometown of Basel.”
Federer owns a men’s record 20 Grand Slam singles titles and has more than $127 million in career earnings. Although he failed to win a major title in 2019, he has now won 24 straight matches at his hometown event and has captured 10 titles in 15 finals appearances.
Earlier this year, Federer won his 10th Halle title so he now has 10 crowns at two events.
Rafael Nadal has accomplished that feat at three events, winning his 12th French Open this year to go with 10 titles apiece in Barcelona and Monte Carlo.
Federer broke de Minaur for a 3-1 lead in the first set with a net approach and overhead smash winner.
He took the first set when de Minaur slapped a forehand into the net while serving at 2-5, 30-40.
Federer jumped out a to 2-0 lead in the second set when he ripped a forehand pass up the line to break de Minaur in the second game.
Federer won the match when de Minaur hit a forehand wide off a Federer forehand.
“He just puts you under pressure,” de Minaur said. “Any ball that isn’t a meter from the baseline for him is a short ball. That’s something I learned the hard way today. But I can’t wait until I’m able to step out and play him again.”
Next year figures to be a huge year for Federer as he winds down his career. He has promised to play the French Open for a second straight year after sitting out the clay season for several years.
He will then play Wimbledon, the Tokyo Olympics, the US Open and the Laver Cup in Boston. Federer has won every major tennis title on Earth except singles gold at the Olympics. He announced earlier this month that he would compete in Tokyo.
Federer announced Monday he was pulling out of this week’s Paris Masters to “pace himself.”
“I am extremely disappointed to have to pull out,” Federer said.
“I want to play as long as possible on the Tour. I’m sorry for my French fans who I’ll see at Roland Garros in 2020.”