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Roger Federer made it 10 titles at the Swiss Indoors Basel with his win on Sunday
From ball boy to King of Basel - Roger Federer has now won 10 titles in his hometown
Last Updated: 29/10/19 8:10pm
Roger Federer enjoys a real love affair with the Swiss Indoors Basel. After all it is his hometown tournament.
In 1993, a 12-year-old ball boy called Federer was handed a medal by German tennis star Michael Stich - a former Wimbledon champion - and Swiss Indoors winner that year. The legacy began.
"I loved being a ball boy here, I was able to see the best players in the world, first-hand, and see how they would prepare and how they should sweat and how did they deal with the pressure and yeah, it's good moments for me," said Federer.
"I guess it means I am still a ball boy too because, at heart, I am always gonna be a ball boy."
Just four years later and Federer was playing qualifiers at the tournament before receiving a wild card a year later when he played and lost to the legendary Andre Agassi.
"Who would have thought that I was going to have this kind of career," Federer admitted.
In 1999, it was Britain's Tim Henman who put an end to Federer's run in the quarter-finals with a 6-3 7-5 success. At the turn of the millennium the Swiss maestro reached the final for the first time but his hopes of victory were dashed following a five-set thriller against Sweden's Thomas Enqvist.
Federer said: "I was heartbroken when I lost that final in five sets here."
And in 2001, Henman was the party-pooper yet again, this time with a straight-sets win in the final.
David Nalbandian dashed Federer's hopes in the 2002 semi-finals, before his-then coach Ivan Ljubicic got the better of his young apprentice in the round of 16 in 2003.
That only appeared to spur Federer on and, after a gap of two years without taking part in the event, he returned in 2006 to finally get his hands on the trophy by defeating Fernando Gonzalez of Chile in three sets.
Just like London buses
In 2007, Federer dropped just one set en route to the final where he eased past Finland's Jarkko Nieminen in the first best-of-three-set final before replicating his success a year later, this time with victory over Nalbandian.
Federer cruised to the final in 2009, but came up against a brick wall in Novak Djokovic, who stopped Federer in his tracks with a 6-4 4-6 6-2 success. They came up against each other a year later and this time it was Federer who turned the tables to win 6-4 3-6 6-1 in the final.
His run to the 2011 title was by no means easy, but Federer made it look plain sailing as he breezed past Andy Roddick in the quarter-finals, Stan Wawrinka in an all-Swiss semi-final, and then Japan's Kei Nishikori to retain his crown.
Delpo does the double
Federer was faced with an unstoppable force in the shape of giant Argentinian Juan Martin del Potro over the next two years in Basel. On both occasions Del Potro came out on top in three-set thrillers.
Five in a row
Federer refined his game like a fine wine to completely dominate his home tournament over the next five years. In 2014, he eased to victory over Belgium's David Goffin before seeing off his great rival Rafael Nadal 6-3 5-7 6-3 the following year.
He gained sweet revenge over Del Potro in 2017 after another titanic battle and then defeated world No 93 Marius Copil of Romania in the final 12 months later.
On Sunday, Federer blitzed 20-year-old Australian Alex De Minaur to win an historic 10th title at the age of 38.