BASEL • Alex de Minaur had called Roger Federer "the GOAT" or greatest of all time in the build-up to their ATP Basel Open final and the Swiss great showed why in a crushing 6-2, 6-2 win yesterday to lift his 10th title in his home town.
It was Federer's 103rd career singles title, putting the former world No. 1 just six behind Jimmy Connors' record of 109. On this form, that mark could even fall next year.
Like the Halle Open, where he has also won 10 times, the Basel Open has always had special significance for Federer.
His 20-year-old Australian opponent never looked close to ending a run that has also seen the 20-time Grand Slam winner fail to drop a set en route to his 24th straight match win here.
This was his fourth title of the season after wins in Dubai, Miami and Halle, but it was clear this meant the most to him, with his family and four children watching on.
"I would have never thought to win here 10 times, not even one, so it's very special," an emotional Federer, 38, told an adoring home crowd, whom he once performed ball boy duties for.
"It was fast but very nice. 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 offence, 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 home town of Basel.
"Thank you everyone, hope to see you all next year."
Federer's last loss here came in the 2013 final to Argentinian Juan Martin del Potro.