Federer unsure if Paris is next stop on ‘incredible journey’

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BASEL, Switzerland, Oct 28, 2019 (BSS/AFP) – Roger Federer clinched his
103rd career title at Basel on Sunday but admitted that he may skip the
opportunity to win a 104th at the Paris Masters.

The 38-year-old won his 10th Basel trophy, smothering young Australian
Alex De Minaur 6-2, 6-2 to secure what the Swiss legend described as “an
unbelievable” success at the home-town tournament where he used to work as a
ballboy.

He is now just six short of the record 109 ATP titles won by American
Jimmy Connors but may be tempted to skip Paris, the final event of the
regular season, to conserve his energy ahead of the ATP Finals in London.

“I’ve got a team meeting scheduled for Monday to discuss not just Paris
but next season, I guess by tomorrow I’ll know If I’m going to Paris or not,”
said Federer after lifting his fourth title of 2019 after Dubai, Miami and
Halle.

“My fitness is fine, I’m happy with how I feel. I just don’t know if I
should play next week. I’ll figure it out with the team.”

Federer returned to the Paris Masters last year for the first time since
2015 and reached the semi-finals where he lost a three-set semi-final
thriller to Novak Djokovic, who is top seed ahead of Rafael Nadal in the
French capital this year.

On Sunday, Federer cut an emotional figure as he was presented with the
trophy at the Basel tournament where he once worked as a ball boy.

In the crowd of 9,000 were his wife and four children.

“It might be remembering back at all that went into this week, the family
of maybe the (coaching) team aspect,” said Federer when asked to explain his
emotions.

“People think I just go out there and do it at will — but it’s not that
way at all.

“Sometimes I stand there and look back at what I’ve gone through. The
ballkids running onto court (for the trophy ceremony) — that can get me
going. Also thanking the fans at the end.”

Federer said his success at Basel, where he is on a 24-win streak and has
won 75 matches against just nine losses, had been “an incredible journey”.

“It leaves a mark for me,” he added after making an appearance at his
annual pizza party with all tournament ball boys and girls immediately after
the trophy ceremony.

“To be able to play in a stadium with people celebrating your tennis it’s
a wonderful feeling. I’ve had an incredible journey, it’s hit me hard winning
in Basel. This is not something that I take as normal.

“(Winning a title) is something unique and special, even if I’ve done it a
lot.”

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