By Scott Williams (AFP) – 1 day ago
STOCKHOLM — Roger Federer won the 64th trophy of his glittering career Sunday, levelling with Pete Sampras in the title Pantheon after a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Florian Mayer at the Stockholm Open.
The victory in 63 minutes was particularly pleasing for the Swiss world number two, who now has a few days off before tackling the outside duties which come with his position as top seed from November 1 at his home Swiss Indoors in Basel.
"It feels great winning any event, but it's especially nice to do it where I've never had a chance before," said Federer, whose only other Stockholm visit was a decade ago.
"There is such a great tennis heritage here with all the greats. "I knew I'd have a chance here, this was a good week for me. I'm happy to have played well."
There is little time for reflection for Federer, 52-12 this season, who bounced back with style from his Shanghai finals loss seven days previously against Andy Murray.
The 16-time grand slam champion faces yet more uphill climb as he takes aim at the next step on the title ladder, the 77 trophies of John McEnroe.
American Jimmy Connors with 109 heads the all-time list, with Ivan Lendl (94) standing second and McEnroe third.
"You want to savour every victory - you never know which one will be the last," said the Swiss. "Things move really fast. This was only a 250 event but the victory is very special. This is maybe one tournament to remember more than some others."
Federer's trophy was his third of 2010 after the Australian Open and Cincinnati prior to the US Open.
He stand 3-4 in 2010 finals from 15 events played.
But the Stockholm success a decade after he last played the event will stand the 29-year-old in good stead for the last three tournaments of his season after he vowed to try and add to his victory total in the run-up to the eight-man World Tour Finals in London from November 21.
"I came up with some good tennis. I was down a break had to scramble and battle back but I found a way," said Federer. Once I get the lead it's difficult for my opponents.
"When my game is on I can really play well. This was a really good week. I"m happy how I pulled up after back-to-back weeks. And I'm happy with how im playing."
Mayer played nothing-to-lose, and hence offensive, tennis. But playing good opponents makes you play better also. I felt I gained the intensity and was able to keep it up."
Federer's dominating win in front of Swedish royalty marked his 36th consecutive victory against Germans since losing to Nicolas Kiefer in 2002.
The Swiss wrapped up the opening set in 34 minutes, then went to work to secure the victory.
A break in the sixth game of the second for 4-2 was enough, with the top seed putting a forehand long on the first of three match points but completing the win on his second opportunity with a service winner.
"Roger really deserved to win," said the 47th-ranked Mayer, without a title from three career finals. "I hope you get back to number one as soon as possible."
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