Frustrated Federer wears down Del Potro for Basel win
ROGER Federer has overcome some rare moments of ragged play and frustration to stave off a determined Juan Martin Del Potro 6-7 6-4 6-3 and win his eighth Swiss Indoors title.
Del Potro, making a late bid to make the ATP World Tour Finals in London, was looking for a third title in Basel after defeating home-town hero Federer in 2012 and 2013 in the final.
Federer struggled at time to find his best form and after allowing Del Potro to break back when leading 5-4 in the first set, smashed his racquet on to the net in a clear sign he was unhappy with his game.
Del Potro took the first set in a tie-break, but it was his turn to lose his cool when he dropped serve at 4-5 in the second as the crowd roared Federer on.
Del Potro took the opening game of the decider but looked fatigued as Federer found another gear to surge back.
The Argentine delayed Federer's celebrations, breaking serve at to pull it back to 5-3 but the 36-year-old Swiss broke again to take the match.
Federer is now alone in second place on the all-time titles list with 95 wins, one more than Ivan Lendl.
American great Jimmy Connors leads with 109.
Federer's hopes of catching Rafael Nadal at the top of the rankings appear over, however, after he pulled out of next week's Paris Masters citing a back injury.
Federer, who trails Nadal by 1460 points, will be back for next month's ATP Finals in London.
Del Potro would have moved into the eighth and final qualifying spot for London had he beaten Federer.
Now he has to make the semi-finals at least in Paris next week to make it to the season-ending tournament.