Cape Town – Roger Federer picked up his 99th career title on Sunday with victory at the Swiss Indoors tournament in Basel, but said he wasn’t sure if he could ever break Jimmy Connors’ open-era record on 109.
The 37-year-old lifted the Basel title for the ninth time following his 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 victory over Marius Copil, tying his own record for most titles at a single event, having also won at Halle nine times.
Still, the Swiss master said victory wasn’t a foregone conclusion.
“It’s not always been easy the past few weeks. I’ve played well, but at times also I didn’t play as well, so it’s nice to come back to winning ways,” said Federer.
“Now we’ll see what happens next.”
“But obviously getting 99 is a huge, huge number for me. Getting nine here in Basel is crazy. I can’t believe it. It’s a major week for me in terms of all the records, so it’s great.
“Since many years, I don’t know if every title I win might be my last. I don’t know. I’m not saying I’m celebrating like it is my last, maybe I should… Here it’s always emotional, seeing the faces of the ball kids. Seeing myself in their shoes is very touching for me. Getting the standing ovations from the fans touches me a lot as well.”
Federer is now just ten titles short of Jimmy Connors’ Open Era record of 109 title, but insisted that he wasn’t too concerned about beating it.
“I thought about it a few years ago,” he said
“But it’s not easy. I have a family, some goals – Wimbledon, ATP Finals, Basel… I can play only a certain number of tournaments. But of course: titles are one of the reasons why I still play, besides fans, and because I like playing tennis.
“But I don’t think of Connors’ record. Even if I am a step closer to him, but also one more step forward to the 100th. Even if I could do it, it would be great. But 100 is clearly the goal now. It could happen in any tournament, and that’s an extra motivation.”