ISTANBUL, (Xinhua) — Seventeen-time Grand slam winner Roger Federer lifted his first Istanbul Open trophy on Sunday after defeating Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay.
Federer started in the opening set with a 3-0 lead. The 33-year-old world No. 2 finished the set 6-3 in 33 minutes over Pablo Cuevas, who stunned Grigor Dimitrov in the semis.
Cuevas played a much closer set in the second. But it was Federer who broke the Uruguayan on the seventh game for a 4-3 lead, before giving the advantage back on the next game. However, coming from 0-40 on the ninth game, world No. 23 Cuevas showed heart by earning five consecutive points to move 5-4 ahead. And both played tough and proceeded into tie-break.
Federer lost two championship points at 6-4, and missed two more at 7-6 and 9-8. Cuevas also wasted three set points at 8-7, 10-9 and 11-10. After Cuevas’s backhand was short in the net at 11-12, Federer was crowned as Istanbul’s first champ in his career.
Federer also claimed his first victory on clay since 2012 Madrid Masters, and added the 85th title in his trophy cabinet.