After missing the home event in Basel in 2004 and 2005, Roger Federer returned stronger than ever in 2006, claiming the first title and defending it a year later. In 2008, Roger lost the first place on the ATP list to Rafael Nadal but his reign in Basel was still on, extending his streak to 15 straight victories in the hometown and conquering the third consecutive title on October 26.
In the first round, Federer had to work hard against Bobby Reynolds despite never facing a break point, scoring a 6-3, 6-7, 6-3 triumph in an hour and 50 minutes before enduring another tough encounter against his good friend Jarkko Nieminen, passing the Finn in two tie breaks to reach the quarters.
There, Simone Bolelli fell 6-2, 6-3 in 67 minutes, with Federer dropping 15 points behind the serve and fending off the only break chance to mount the pressure on the Italian who lost serve twice in the first set and once more in the second to propel the Swiss into the last four.
Facing another player from outside the top-25, Roger toppled Feliciano Lopez 6-3, 6-2 in swift 61 minutes to advance into the fifth final in Basel, never losing serve and stealing the Spaniard’s three times from four opportunities to continue where he left in the previous two clashes.
In their 18th and penultimate encounter on the Tour, Federer defeated David Nalbandian 6-3, 6-4 for the third Basel crown and the seventh victory in the last nine matches against the Argentine. The Swiss lost only seven points in his games, never facing a break point and earning eight opportunities in David’s games, converting one in each set to cross the finish line in no time at all.
They had a similar number of unforced errors but Roger produced more winners and forced more errors from David to control the pace and achieve the advantage in both the shortest and more extended rallies. After three easy holds, the fourth game saw 18 points and five break chances for Roger, wasting them all and allowing David to bring the game home and level the score at 2-2.
Federer fixed that two games later, scoring a break when Nalbandian hit a forehand long and holding at love in the next game to open a 5-2 lead. Serving for the set at 5-3, the Swiss landed a service winner to take the opener in 34 minutes and continued in the same way in set number two, earning a break with a beautiful backhand crosscourt winner in the third game.
Both players served well in the rest of the encounter and Roger sealed the deal with three winners in the tenth game, securing the third straight Basel crown with a forehand winner, becoming the first three-time champion since Stefan Edberg in 1988.