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Del Potro again knocks off Federer in Basel



Basel, Switzerland (SportsNetwork.com) - Juan Martin del Potro denied Roger Federer a title in his hometown for the second straight year.

The top-seeded del Potro claimed a 7-6 (7-3), 2-6, 6-4 victory over Federer in Sunday's final to capture his second straight title at the Swiss Indoors. Last year's title match also went the distance in del Potro's favor.

Federer had dominated del Potro before last October's Basel final, winning 13 of the first 15 matchups, but the 25-year-old Argentine has now won three in a row from the Swiss star.

"It was similar in intensity, rallies and the emotion of the fans," said del Potro about the two finals in Basel. "The fans were cheering for him a lot, but they also respected me. They made a fantastic atmosphere. I think we played the best match of the tournament today."

The two men traded breaks late in the first set Sunday, but del Potro opened the tiebreaker with the first three points and also won the last three.

Federer broke serve for a 2-0 lead in the second set and squared the match with another break in the eighth game, but del Potro jumped on top in the decisive third with a break in the opening game.

Two double faults cost Federer in the first game of the third set, but he quickly gained a pair of break points in the second game. Del Potro saved both and went on to hold serve. Federer failed to earn another break point the rest of the way.

"I waited for my break point chance, which I got in the first game," said del Potro about the third set. "Then, I tried to be solid on serve. The last two service games were my best of the whole tournament. It was good to see my serve was working very well."

Sunday's victory gave del Potro his 17th career title and fourth this year. He also won in Rotterdam, Washington and Tokyo, while losing title matches in Indian Wells and Shanghai.

Federer, meanwhile, was trying for a sixth title in Basel and fell to 1-2 in finals during a disappointing 2013 season. His lone title came on grass at the Wimbledon tune-up in Halle, while he also lost to Rafael Nadal in the Rome final.

"It was a pretty high level match overall," said Federer about Sunday's loss. "Probably my best match of the tournament overall, but it is always difficult to judge when you lose."

The former world No. 1 could have qualified for the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals for a 12th consecutive year with a win Sunday, but now must at least win his opening match in the second round next week at the Paris Masters to secure a spot for the elite field of eight in London.

Del Potro is already set for his trip to the English capital and picked up a first prize of $475,000 with Sunday's triumph.

10/27 15:29:15 ET