BASEL: Roger Federer got the better of old foe Rafael Nadal 6-3 5-7 6-3 for the first time in more than three years to win a seventh Basel title on Sunday.
Top seed Federer, whose rivalry with Nadal is one of the most storied in tennis history, had not beaten the Spaniard since he won a semifinal at Indian Wells in 2012 and had lost their last five meetings.
Playing his 12th final in his home town, Federer survived a break point in his opening service game before grabbing the upper hand.
The Swiss broke twice to take the opening set and then went about putting pressure on third seed Nadal at the start of the second, crafting a break point at 3-2 ahead.
Nadal, however, dug deep to stay in the contest and then claimed his first break of the match for a 6-5 lead as Federer netted a backhand, leaving the Mallorcan to serve out to love.
The Swiss broke decisively to lead 5-3 in the third set and then served out to take the title, the 88th of his career, after two hours and three minutes of battle.