Federer Defeats Nadal Again at Long Last in Basel

As I expected it turned out to be a close match but, of course, I gave Nadal the edge and Federer ended up winning 6-3, 5-7, 6-3 in what was a good contest. So all credit to Federer for proving me wrong and getting another win over Nadal at long last and in doing so winning his seventh Basel title and sixth title of the year. It hasn’t at all been a bad year for him. He just came up short again when it mattered most.

With this confidence boosting victory, he will also be a big factor in the remainder of the indoor season in Paris and London. His draw is Paris is good so he should try to make the final there at least.

As far as the match goes the opening three games made you think that we will see the usual result from a Fedal encounter because Federer went to deuce on his serve while Nadal held serve easily. But Federer soon hit his stride and played some very nice tennis.


As you would expect, he was the one who looked comfortable on the fast indoor courts while Nadal was on the defense most of the time. Federer broke serve in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead and he broke Nadal again in the ninth game to win the opening set 6-3.

In the second set, he looked in control the whole time while Nadal was the one under pressure on serve. So it was against the run of play when Nadal broke serve in the eleventh game to take a 6-5 lead. He proceeded to hold serve and all of a sudden Fedfans were fearing the worst again.

At least Federer was serving first in the deciding set which was a slight advantage. He broke Nadal in the eighth game after a loose game from Nadal where he made two uncharacteristic unforced errors late in the game to take a 5-3 lead.


Federer still had to hold serve to clinch the victory which was never going to be easy given he was up against his nemesis. On one match point, he served an ace which got called out but Layani overruled it to add some more to the drama. Then on the next point Nadal had a very good look at a passing shot but Federer guessed the correct side which was huge.

On the second match point, Nadal sent a return long to the great relief of Federer and his fans.

  • What Does It Mean?

Not much, really. It basically means that Nadal does not utterly own Federer which would have been the case if he defeated him in Basel as well. Federer has over the years gotten some key wins over Nadal so although I thought Nadal would win today, I shouldn’t be all that surprised.

A sixth consecutive loss to Nadal in his own country after having his best year since 2012 with the way Nadal has been playing this year would have meant the rivalry was truly dead and buried. Now at least the rivalry is on life support, as opposed to flatlining.

There never was much for Federer to gain in this match as far as the rivalry goes. It was in Basel on a court that suits his game to the T so if there is one match where he is still the favorite to beat Nadal it was there. The only thing Federer had to gain from this match was to prove that the ownage is not complete.

I’m kind of happy about it because that would have pretty much ended all Federer’s hopes of being the GOAT. Nadal would have owned him so utterly that no unbiased person would have called him the GOAT. At least now he is still in the conversation, but of course if Djokovic catches up with him he will be surpassed due to his head-to-head with Nadal.


I am also glad about this result because it makes tennis more interesting. If Nadal won the rivalry would have been well and truly dead. Now at least there would still be a reason to watch any future meetings.

For Federer to make any kind of serious statement in the rivalry he would need to win a slam meeting. But even then the slam head-to-head would still be 9-3 in Nadal’s favor. I don’t see it happening anyway if he can hardly beat Nadal in Basel. It will now also be very interesting to see what happens if they meet in London.

It’s highly unlikely that they will meet in Paris as they are in opposing halves. In London, the courts are much slower than in Basel so probably Nadal becomes the favorite again there, but then again I said the same thing about Basel which is why it will be interesting.

In the end I am happy for Federer because seriously, losing even in Basel to Nadal? That would have been a bit rough for a player with his record. It would have been another terrible stain on his legacy after all the losses he already suffered to Nadal. It’s good to see him regain some pride at least if nothing else.

  • What Is Left of the Tennis Season

So we are into the final stretch of the tennis season with only Paris and the grand finale left in London(Davis Cup too but I couldn’t care less about it). The eight players who will be present in London have also been decided with Ferrer and Nishikori taking the remaining spots.

In the end, Nadal qualifies in the fifth spot which is almost surprising after the year he had. And he isn’t done. He could still be a factor in Paris and London. The Basel final loss was another very good result for him, especially after coming back in the second set and making it a very close match.

Let’s get real. He has never passed the quarterfinals in Basel and he came very close to winning it on the worst possible surface for his game. Even at his very best it is doubtful whether he could have done that so he is right there with his game.

Finally, Djokovic will be back this week and so will Murray. Djokovic will be fresh again after his exploits in Asia and history is now beckoning. It should be a very interesting last couple of tournaments. Djokovic has the opportunity to become the first man to win six Masters titles in a calendar year.


Given the court speed, you wouldn’t bet against him doing it. The court speed does not particularly favor Federer and the run in Basel will likely take a physical toll on him. Three out of his five matches went the distance and the final could have been particularly taxing.

Even if Federer doesn’t win another title this year this title and the fact that he defeated his nemesis is a good end for him. Of course, losing early in Paris or suffering more losses to Djokovic and Nadal in London is not going to help his cause but if I was him or his fans I’d already be happy with his year.

Sure he lost the two big ones but he is 34 after all. The limelight now belongs to Djokovic and if he wins Paris and London he will clock the best tennis season in history. The rest of the big four will do their best to stop him which will make the next three weeks a fun time in tennis.

  • Highlights

The is in your court.

Fedal 34.0: It’s On In Basel

Well, it’s been almost a two-year wait but we finally have our Federer vs Nadal rematch. The rivalry has become very one-sided of late with Nadal winning the last five encounters so the break was not the worst thing to happen, but it is too big a rivalry for it to just be over. For Nadal at least, there is still ground to conquer. For Federer too, but if things keep going the way it has been between them of late then Nadal will beat Federer at the worst possible place for him.

Nadal has infiltrated just about all Federer’s territory and made himself at home. He’s done it at Wimbledon and the Australian Open and recently even in Cincinnati and the world Tour Finals, two tournaments where you would still have called Federer the favorite even after all the losses to his big rival. The only ground left for Nadal to conquer now is Basel, the Swiss’ headquarters on tour.

Will Nadal infiltrate Federer’s last stronghold and make the ownage complete or will Federer be able to at least defend his home turf? I think the psychological toll on Federer would be big if Nadal does defeat him tomorrow. If that happens you gotta feel sorry for the guy. It could even hasten his retirement. Nadal is on his way back and a win over Federer tomorrow on a fast indoor court would be his best victory of the entire year.


It has often been said that Nadal needs a match against Federer when his confidence is low. Well, he will get that opportunity tomorrow and if he wins that may just be the victory that makes his return to form official. It will certainly give him a huge confidence boost. Nadal has never made it past the quarterfinals of Basel. He has lost in the first round twice and last year he lost to Coric in the quarterfinals.

It’s surprising that he got this far and I hope the people who keep saying he is not getting back to form will at least admit that much. Nadal is supposedly playing desperately poor tennis and yet he defeated four more than competent indoor players to make the final. Today he defeated Gasquet 6-4, 7-6(7) who was having a great week and is a very decent indoor player. The weird thing is he still hasn’t impressed me this week.

Something is still missing. How can that be when he’s just had his best result ever at Basel? I don’t know the answer to that, but Federer has not impressed me either. I didn’t watch his match today, but I saw the scoreboard when it was 6-3, 5-2 in Federer’s favor. I thought Federer would win 6-3, 6-2 and it looked to me like he was making a statement. Then when I got home I saw the final score was 6-3, 6-4.


Advantage Nadal. If both are unimpressive then I have to give Nadal the edge. Federer needed to make a statement after looking pretty average this week if he wanted to be my favorite. Certainly Federer could win. We can’t see the future. But I’m gonna have to give Nadal the edge here given the rivalry’s history and their respective forms. That’s just the way I see it.

The bookies have Federer easily as the favorite which I find somewhat strange, but then the odds will probably adapt as more people put money on Nadal. Certainly with the odds I have seen so far if you are into betting then I’d put money on Nadal. And by the way, I don’t condone betting at all. Just saying it doesn’t sound like bad odds to me. I’d rather not you run the risk of giving your money to people who don’t deserve it.

Whatever the case may be, I’m glad we finally have our Fedal rematch and I’m very much looking forward to it. Federer can certainly do with a win over Nadal and another Basel title. He’s looked burned out of late and a victory can help him get some of his mojo back and end the season on a high. On the other hand, the tide has been swinging in Nadal’s favor of late and we know what happens to Federer in that case…

Who will win 34.0?

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The is in your court.

Nadal and Federer One Match Away from Basel Final Encounter

Hmmm, this is getting interesting. After Nadal dropped the first set against Cilic today I thought the dream had ended but it is still alive after both Nadal and Federer had three-set wins today. Nadal came back to defeat Cilic 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 while Federer defeated Goffin 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 in another less than convincing performance. Is it because Nadal is lurking in the draw or because Federer is still burned out?


Maybe a combination of the two. Who knows. The point is he has not been convincing and it will be interesting to see what happens tomorrow if Nadal defeats Gasquet, which is the first semi-final. Federer may even lose to Sock who defeated Young 5-7, 6-4, 6-2. At least Sock has a big serve and forehand as opposed to Goffin who lacks weapons. Federer should win, but the subconscious effect of Nadal can’t be underestimated.

I really wouldn’t be surprised at all if we don’t see a Fedal final, but one can dream. Gasquet today defeated Karlovic 6-4, 6-7(2), 7-6(6) which was a great win for him. It was also the ninth time Karlovic lost in a final set tie-break this year. I’m not complaining. I’m no serve bot fan. Nadal leads Gasquet 13-0 in the head-to-head. I like the way Nadal has been finding a way to win despite the surface not being suitable to his game.


Just making the semis here and beating Cilic will give him more confidence. It is also more proof to the non-believers that he is on his way back. Gasquet is looking very comfortable and if there is one tournament he can beat Nadal it is probably Basel, but given the head-to-head I guess you gotta make Nadal the favorite. He just seems to find a way. If he does win I will look forward to seeing what happens between Federer and Sock.

I hope Fedal can get over this last hurdle so we can have the dream final!

  • Paris Draw


The Paris draw came out today and it feels kinda strange to see Federer seeded third. His draw is quite good, though. He avoids both Djokovic and Nadal in his half and gets his favorite big four opponent Murray. Anyway, it looks like another title for Djokovic but of course still a long way to go. Nadal gets a tough draw with Anderson and Wawrinka, but the courts are slow so he could continue his return to form.

Federer needs to make the best of his favorable draw and make the final. Anything less would be a disappointment for him. I’m looking forward to seeing Djokovic back in action. He will be aiming for a record sixth Masters title this year. Should be fun.

The is in your court.