• Federer targets seventh Basel title

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    BASEL, Switzerland: Roger Federer will aim to profit from the public adoration of his hometown crowd as he bids for a seventh title at the Swiss Indoors starting on Monday.

    The 34-year-old world number three will have certainly put aside his unexpected loss last week in Shanghai, where he was ambushed by Spain’s Albert Ramos in an opening match and went back to Europe only a few days after arriving to a hero’s welcome in China.

    But that’s all part of the past for Federer, who claimed a sixth Swiss title at the St Jakobshalle a year ago in well under an hour against David Goffin.

    The player who got his start in the game at the tournament as a ballboy, owns six trophies from 11 Basel finals over a span of 15 years, standing 56-9 on home ground.

    Federer opens on Tuesday in the first round against Kazakh Mikhail Kukushkin with his drive and confidence not particularly dented by his early Shanghai surprise.

    “Ten years ago I would have only hoped to be still able to play at 34, yet here I am. I’m going through a really exciting phase of my career, of my life. I can only be happy,” said the father of two sets of twins.

    Joining Federer in the field is double Grand Slam champion and fellow Swiss Stan Wawrinka (seeded second) and third seed Rafael Nadal, whose run to the Beijing final and Shanghai semis has helped the 29-year-old start repairing a poor season in the closing stages.

    AFP

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