Federer wins inaugural Istanbul Open

Roger Federer won the inaugural TEB BNP Paribas Istanbul Open, beating Pablo Cuevas 6-3, 7-6(11) in the final on Sunday afternoon. Federer needed one hour and 36 minutes to capture the 85th title of his career.

Following consecutive three-setters against Daniel Gimeno-Traver and Diego Schwartzman, the 33-year-old Swiss seemed to be on his way to a much more routine win over Cuevas with a set in hand and a break for 4-3 in the second. But Cuevas broke right back and eventually forced a tiereaker.

A tense ‘breaker saw the underdog Uruguayan get a look at three set points while saving four match points. Federer finally converted his fifth opportunity at 12-11 when he forced Cuevas into a forehand error.

“It’s been a tough week; four tough matches,” the 17-time Grand Slam champion reflected. “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.”

“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.”

As for the immediate future, both men will move on to the Madrid Masters next week. Federer is the No. 1 seed and could kick off his campaign against Estoril runner-up Nick Kyrgios. Cuevas is scheduled for a first-round meeting with Albert Ramos-Vinolas.
Federer-Cuevas highlights:

 

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