Roger Federer beat Jarkko Nieminen 6-3, 6-4 Sunday to win the Swiss Indoors for the second straight year and clinch the No 1 ranking for the fourth consecutive year. Federer will become the fifth player since the inception of the ATP rankings in 1973 to be the year-end No 1, after Jimmy Connors, John McEnroe, Ivan Lendl and Pete Sampras. He is the fourth man to do it four or more years consecutively, after Connors, McEnroe and Sampras.
Federer, who had failed to win his home tournament for six straight years, has now captured a tour-high seventh title of the season.
Federer broke on a forehand error by Nieminen to lead 2-0, and he closed out the first set with a volley in 27 minutes. Nieminen, playing his first final of the year, missed a break point to lead the second set 2-0. He won two straight service games to love and had Federer under pressure in the eighth game.
But Nieminen served a double-fault in the next game to face a break point, and then put a forehand wide to give Federer a decisive 5-4 lead. When Nieminen's return went long, Federer held a match point and closed it out with a backhand volley winner. After losing the Madrid Masters final to David Nalbandian last week, Federer dropped a set in his opening match in Basel before winning the next four in straight sets. He is now 7-4 in finals this year and has 52 career titles.