Only man to become the 17-time singles major champion, Roger Federer adds another trophy to his cabinet as he defeats Pablo Cuevas 6-3, 7-6(11) to clinch his 85th title at the inaugural TEB BNP Paribas Istanbul Open.
In front of 8000-seated full packed Garanti Koza Arena, Federer was off to a flying start in the opening set, taking the 3-0 lead. 33-year-old world no.2 didn’t face any break points to finish the set 6-3 in 33 minutes over 3rd seed Pablo Cuevas, who stunned Grigor Dimitrov in the semis. Federer lost only four points on his first serve this set.
Reaching his fourth tour-level final, Cuevas played much closer set in the second. But it was Federer who drew first blood, breaking the Uruguayan on the seventh game for a 4-3 lead, before giving the advantage back on the next game. Coming from 0-40 on the ninth game, world no.23 Cuevas showed heart by earning five consecutive points to move 5-4 ahead.
Both players were strong on their serves to level the second set at 6-6 and it was the tie-break to open the lock. On the rollercoaster tie-break, Federer couldn’t convert two championship points at 6/4. He was going to miss two more at 7/6 and 9/8. Saving four match points, Cuevas also found three set points respectively at 8/7, 10/9 and 11/10, but wasted all these opportunities. After a thrilling 24-points game, Cuevas’s forehand was short in the net, at which time Federer was crowned as Istanbul’s first champ with 13/11 tie-break at the end of 1 hour and 36 minutes.
Improving his final record to 85-43 to seal a trophy in the 19th different country, this is Federer’s third title of the season, after Brisbane and Dubai. Fedeer’s last victory that came up on clay was in 2012 Madrid Masters. On Cuevas’s side, he was upset for the first time in tour-level finals, dropping to 3-1.