It was not the most outstanding of weeks for world No. 2 Roger Federer, but he was still able to secure his 85th career title on Sunday afternoon at the TEB BNP Paribas Istanbul Open.
The 17-time Grand Slam winner won his third title of the season following a straight sets victory against Pablo Cuevas. Federer stormed through the firsts set in 33 minutes but was slowed in the second set, where he fended off set point and required five match points to down the Uruguayan. In the end, he handed Cuevas his first defeat in an ATP World Tour final.
“It’s been a tough week; four tough matches,” said Federer. “I thought the final was my best one. I’m very happy. I’m very proud to be the first champion here at the first-time tournament here in Istanbul. In Turkey, I’ve had a wonderful week. On and off the court, I was able to visit the city a little bit, meet a lot of people, enjoy the crowd support and experience Turkey.
“It’s been crazy, in a good way, and I hope I can do it again one day. Right now, I’m just happy I was able to win the tournament. It’s always the best feeling for an athlete to be the champion at the end of a long tough week.”
Prior to his first meeting with Federer, Cuevas was undefeated in ATP World Tour finals (3-0) and on his way to a fourth. However, he was simply unable to secure his second title of the season. Instead, he took home 42,100 Euros for his effort.
“It’s difficult to face Roger, not only because of his game but also to stay focused on the game and not get distracted,” said Cuevas. “It was a very good experience for me, and I think it will help me in the future.”