64th career title for Federer
STOCKHOLM — Roger Federer beat Germany’s Florian Mayer 6-4, 6-3 to win the Stockholm Open yesterday and match Pete Sampras’ total of 64 career titles.
Since 1968, only Jimmy Connors (109), Ivan Lendl (94) and John McEnroe (77) have won more singles tournaments than Federer and Sampras.
“It’s amazing that I’m there where Pete’s ended his career on,” Federer said. “You never know when it’s your last one. That’s why you want to savor every tournament victory.”
In beating the 47th-ranked Mayer at Royal Tennis Hall, Federer won his third title of the year. The unseeded German broke serve in the seventh game before Federer started spraying winners to take the set. Federer showed glimpses of his best form in the second set, mixing power and finesse and ending the match in 63 minutes.
Federer, a 16-time Grand Slam winner, won his 50th match of the year Friday. He became only the fifth man, and the first since Sampras, to win 50 matches in at least nine straight years in the Open era.
“Early on, I think that feeling of wanting to prove yourself to the world and all the doubters is a very strong one, so you’re very aggressive in your ways of winning and not enjoying them,” Federer said. “Today it’s much more of the enjoyment part because I don’t need to prove myself to anyone anymore, except to myself.”
Sweden’s Crown Princess Victoria presented the trophy to Federer, who was appearing at this tournament for the first time in a decade.
“For me, every tournament victory is special,” the Swiss star said. “This is one I’ll definitely remember, maybe more than other ones.”