Roger Federer won his hometown tournament for the third straight year on Sunday, beating second-seeded David Nalbandian of Argentina 6-3, 6-4 in the Swiss Indoors final.
The top-seeded Federer hit eight aces and conceded just seven points on his serve all match.
“Things are back into a groove the way I like it. I’m happy with the way I’m playing,” Federer said. “It feels great to win at home. Once you had it you want more of it and you want to do it over and over again.”
It was Federer’s fourth title of the season after victories at the US Open, in Estoril, Portugal, and Halle, Germany. He is 4-4 in finals this season and 57-21 overall.
Federer improved to 10-8 against the 26-year-old Nalbandian, who won in Basel in 2002 and is a three-time runner-up.
The Argentine said Federer’s performance was among the best he has faced in their long rivalry that began as juniors.
“I didn’t play my best but today he was very good,” Nalbandian said. “He was always winning his service games easy. So it was tough for me.”
The 27-year-old Swiss broke to lead 4-2 in the first set and again in the third game of the second set.
The fourth game of the first set epitomized the high-quality tennis. Nalbandian saved five breakpoints, twice with aces, and eventually held after six deuces.
Federer kept up the pressure on his opponent’s next service game, creating two breakpoints with a forehand passing shot on the run.
Nalbandian then hit a forehand long to drop serve.
Federer held to love in the next game, helped by two heavily sliced aces to Nalbandian’s forehand. He clinched the set with an ace and three service winners.
In the second set, Federer hit a backhand crosscourt winner to break for a 2-1 lead.
Federer closed out the match with a forehand winner behind a big serve.
■ST PETERSBURG OPEN
AP, ST. PETERSBURG, RUSSIA
Top-seeded Andy Murray beat Andrey Golubev 6-1, 6-1 on Sunday to win the St. Petersburg Open for the second straight year.
Murray, who also won at the Madrid Masters last Sunday, became the first British player to win back-to-back tour-level titles since Mark Cox won in London and Washington in March 1975.
Murray did not drop a set on the way to his fifth title this season and his eighth career win.
The Briton dominated the match with solid play from the baseline, constantly trapping Golubev in the corners. Murray won five consecutive games in the first set and six more in the second to finish off in 56 minutes.
“I played well today, I really enjoyed myself this week,” Murray said. “At the start of both sets it was quite close but once I got ahead I started to feel much more comfortable. In terms of the score it was easy, but it wasn’t the easiest match I’ve played on the Tour.”
Golubev saved two match points while serving at 5-1 and 40-15 down in the second set, but netted a return shot on a second deuce. A 150th-ranked qualifier from Kazakhstan, Golubev upset eighth-seeded Marat Safin in straight sets in the second round on Thursday to reach his first ATP quarter-final.
Golubev said he was tired after playing eight matches in nine days, but he was happy with his performance.
“I’m a bit disappointed but not because I’ve lost today but because I couldn’t challenge Murray the way I really could,” Golubev said.
It was the 12th consecutive win for the fourth-ranked Murray, including two victories in Britain’s Davis Cup World Group playoffs against Austria in September. His win-loss record this season is 53-14, making him the fourth player this year to win more than 50 matches.
Murray also won titles in Doha, Marseille and Cincinnati. His only loss in the finals this season was to Roger Federer at the US Open.
Top-seeded Elena Dementieva beat Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark to win her third title of the year at the Fortis Championships on Sunday.
Olympic champion Dementieva lost the first set to the 18-year-old Dane before winning on a tie-break 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (4).
Dementieva, 27, also won her last match against Wozniacki at the Beijing Olympics where she won gold for Russia.
The Luxembourg title — a US$225,000 WTA Tour event on hard indoor courts — adds to her two other wins this year at the Beijing Olympics in August and the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships in March.
Dementieva is fifth in the world rankings.
■LYON GRAND PRIX
AP, LYON, FRANCE
Seventh-seeded Robin Soderling of Sweden beat Julien Benneteau 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-1 on Sunday to clinch his first title of the season, his third career title overall and first since 2005.
Soderling, who was playing in his fourth indoor final of the season, broke Benneteau four times in the match and dropped his serve only once to win the Lyon title for the second time, after also winning at the Gerland arena in 2004.
The 24-year-old Soderling’s only other title came three years ago in Milan, Italy.
“I lost three finals this season, so I’m very happy to finally win one,” Soderling said. “You really have to be consistent and play well during a whole week to win a tournament. I’m glad that I made it this week. Lyon is a special place for me since I won my first title here in 2004.”
Soderling is set to break into the top 20 for the first time at either No. 18 or No. 19.
“As a player you always have the goal of reaching the top 100. Once you get there, you want to get to the top 50,” he said. “Reaching the top 20 feels great. It has been my goal for two or three years.”
Benneteau briefly rallied when he broke Soderling in the eighth game of the second set to make it 4-4, but then faded quickly.
“Winning my first title in Lyon close to my home town would have been unbelievable,” Benneteau said.
The Frenchman, who took only one of the four chances he had to break Soderling in the second set, did not get another chance to trouble Soderling’s serve in the decider. Soderling had 10 aces in the match.
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