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Federer beats Djokovic for fourth Basel tennis title

BASEL--Roger Federer won the Swiss Indoors title on Sunday, defeating Novak Djokovic 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 and earning revenge for last year's trophy match loss against his Serbian rival.

The victory in just under two hours provided relief after Djokovic stole the Swiss honors in 2009, interrupting Federer's reign over the three previous editions.

“It is even more special to win again at home,” said Federer, holder of four titles in 2010 including his last event in Stockholm. “I had a super week and a tough final to play.

“It's always tough to play Novak,” he said of the Serb he has beaten 12 times in their 16 meetings. “We've met so many times and he knows my game and how to beat me. He had a great week here.”

Federer now heads to next week's Paris Masters as top seed in the injury absence of Rafael Nadal with four titles this season — the last two won back-to-back in Stockholm and in his hometown. Djokovic will be seeded second.

Federer has won three of four meetings this season against Djokovic, with only a loss in the U.S. Open semifinals to spoil that mark.

The win was his 57th of the season and his 65th career title putting him alone on fourth in the all-time list, one better than Pete Sampras.

The 16-time grand slam winner was competing in his fifth straight Basel final and his seventh from 11 at the St Jakobshalle.

“I had a good week overall — if a bit of a poor third set,” said Djokovic, who is mentally preparing along with his Serbian teammates for the historic Davis Cup final in Belgrade against France Dec. 3-5.

“I lost a bit of focus and there was suddenly no way back from 5-1 down. You don't get many chances against Roger when he's on top of you.

“I was disappointed with that set but it was otherwise a good week, I got to the final without losing a set. I feel well and didn't lose too much energy. I'll just go to Paris and try to do as well as I can.”

The whole of Federer's immediate family was in the stands, including his parents, sister, wife Mirka and the couple's twin daughters dressed in matching outfits.

Federer won the opening set in 45 minutes thanks to one break of serve but lost his own in the second game of the second as Djokovic eventually pulled through to level.

But in the third, the Swiss broke on a Djokovic double-fault for 3-1 and broke again on his third opportunity of the sixth game before serving out the win. He claimed victory with a backhand winner to the empty court.

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 Federer beats Djokovic for fourth Basel tennis title 
Swiss Roger Federer kisses the trophy after defeating Serbian Novak Djokovic 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 during the Swiss Indoors ATP tennis tournament final match, Sunday, Nov. 7, in Basel.(AFP)

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