Ninety-nine red balloons, floating in the summer sky, oh, how quick 25 years goes by…Roger Federer is just one tournament win away from a memorable century. Will he, could he, do it in Paris or London?
Federer, who beat qualifier Marius Copil of Romania for his ninth title in Basel, has yet to confirm he will play at this week’s Paris Masters.
The Swiss legend hasn’t played in Bercy since 2015 and although he has the chance to win title No 100 he may decide to opt out and rest up before returning to the season-ending ATP Finals in London – live on Sky Sports.
Commentator Barry Cowan said: “I don’t think he will play.”
Sky Live: Paris Masters
The 37-year-old delighted the home support, winning 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 on Sunday as he rallied to maintain his four-year unbeaten run in the tournament in his home city of Basel.
99 Tournament wins for Roger… Let us share our favourites with you!
Well done @rogerfederer! Party like it's 99! pic.twitter.com/uSW2cVXnkD
Federer was playing in his 151st singles final where he was once a ball boy, and matched the nine he has won at the Halle grass-court event in Germany to close the gap on the all-time singles titles list to Jimmy Connors, who leads with 109.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion won his first-ever title on the ATP tour 17 years ago in 2001 when he won on the indoor carpet of Milan and he has continued his domination ever since.
Most titles Federer has won by tournament:
Age is just a number to a man who has continued to reinvent himself over the years with a balletic grace and artistry around the court the like has never seen before.
? 99 red balloons ?
? Floating in the summer sky ?
? Oh, how quick 25 years goes by ?
He even used a famous song by the German band Nena to celebrate landing his 99th title – ’99 red balloons’, and promised he would party like it’s 1999! Who would rain on the Swiss’ parade?
Federer will now aim to win number 100 by the end of the season.
“It’s been a magical week for me, a dream run for me,” Federer said, prior to moving onto his traditional post-final pizza party with ballkids – of which he was one here two decades ago.
“Nine (titles) is a huge number for me. winning that many times here is crazy. It’s been a major week for me in terms of records.”
Once a ball boy, always a ball boy.??#pizzaparty
A post shared by Roger Federer (@rogerfederer) on
Federer admitted playing through three months of the season with a wrist injury which coincided with a poor run of form and there were times in Basel where he was forced to grind out wins when not playing at his very best.
“This was almost a turnaround week for me,” he said. “Maybe I had to win through fighting, maybe it was different than some of my past victories. But winning is fun, winning gives you confidence. That’s what I need if I want to do well in London, to do my best there.
“But for me now it’s about winning here, I don’t care about anything else. It means the world to me. I’m happy to win in front of my home crowd.”
Victory was Federer’s 71st at the event. He will be aiming to complete his century at the ATP Finals in London, which starts in a fortnight’s time, but will we see the world No 3 in Paris for the final Masters of the year?
His heart may say yes, but his head and the rest of his team will advise him to rest up and recuperate before the season climax at the O2 where he last lifted the trophy in 2011.
With Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic battling it out for the year-end world No 1 spot, never count out a resurgent Federer from spoiling the party and bursting that final balloon on his way to another magical landmark. Never count out the great man!
Federer’s Paris Masters draw:
Watch the Paris Masters live on Sky Sports throughout the week. See TV listings HERE.
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We will have coverage of the ATP Finals at London’s O2 in November with every match live on Sky Sports.
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