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Del Potro beats Federer to retain Basel title

Top seed Juan Martin del Potro successfully defended his ATP Swiss Indoors title with a 7-6 (3) 2-6 6-4 victory against home favourite Roger Federer.

Federer reached his first final in more than four months and showed no sign of the back problems that hampered him during the most difficult season of his career.

Del Potro, the Tokyo champion three weeks ago, profited after Federer, who had squared the match at a set each, double-faulted twice in the opening game of the final set in front his 9,200-strong home public at the event which he has won five times from ten finals.

Even though Federer lost a chance to clinch a spot in the ATP World Tour Finals in London from November 4, the Swiss can assure himself a place in the eight-man field by winning his opening second-round match next week at the Paris Masters.

Federer will face the winner from Russia's Mikhail Youzhny, the Valencia champion on Sunday, and South African Kevin Anderson.

He if wins he will be into the London year-ender for a 12th straight edition where he would be bidding for a sixth title.

"I played my best match of the week today," said the Argentine winner who could not stop expressing his respect for Federer, the 17-time Grand Slam champion.

"Roger is a great person and he has already won this title too many times.

"I know how it feels to lose big matches like this. I played well today and felt I got better at the end. My last two service games were the best I could have hoped for."

Del Potro has now defeated Federer in their last three matches.

"It's always a pleasure to play Roger. He's the hero here and for me my biggest inspiration. You make history at every tournament you play."

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