On this day: Roger Federer matches Pete Sampras in Stockholm



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On this day: Roger Federer matches Pete Sampras in Stockholm

After spending almost half a decade at the top of the men's game, Roger Federer started to lose ground to Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. Still, the Swiss remained a significant figure at the biggest tournaments, winning three out of four Grand Slams between Roland Garros 2009 and Australian Open 2010.

That crown in Melbourne was the only for the Swiss between Cincinnati 2009 and Cincinnati 2010, with Roger changing all that at the end of the 2010 season, claiming 30 wins in the last 33 matches to regain composure and get back on the winning way.

A week after losing in the final of Shanghai to Andy Murray, Roger entered the ATP 250 event in Stockholm for the first time since 2000, going all the way to grab the third title of the season. Federer was the top seed and four wins were enough to secure the title, struggling a bit in the quarter-final against Stan Wawrinka but dominating the other encounters for the 64th ATP title that put him on level terms with Pete Sampras.

Federer needed just 51 minutes to dismiss the hard-hitting American Taylor Dent in the second round 6-1, 6-2, saving both break points he faced and stealing rival's serve four times for the place in the quarters. It was the 900th ATP match for Roger, who became the only active player who reached that number.

After a slow start, Federer toppled Wawrinka 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 in an hour and 48 minutes, becoming only the fifth player in the Open era with at least 50 ATP wins in nine consecutive seasons. In the semi-final, Ivan Ljubicic served for the opening set, but Roger broke back in the very last moment to reach the tie break that he won 7-5, using that momentum in set number two for a 7-6, 6-2 triumph and the place in the final.

There, the Swiss ousted Florian Mayer 6-4, 6-3 in just over an hour to win the title and match Pete Sampras' ATP trophies.

In Stockholm 2010, Roger Federerclaimed the 64th ATP title.

The Swiss lost 15 points in ten service games and was always in the driving seat after that lone break he suffered, winning 42% of the return points and scoring three breaks from seven chances to cross the finish line first.

Both players had more winners than unforced errors, and Federer was the one who controlled the majority of the points, forcing 20 errors from the German and having the upper hand in the mid-range and more extended exchanges to wrap up the triumph in straight sets.

Roger kicked off the action with a forehand winner that delivered the first game for him and created three break points already in the second game, unable to convert any and move in front. Florian was the one who drew first blood in the seventh game after a deep return but couldn't stay in front for too long, getting broken at 15 a few minutes later to let Roger back on the scoreboard.

After that, the Swiss took charge and closed the set with another break in game ten after an excellent backhand that Mayer failed to control. The German wasted a game point at 2-3 in set number two, and Federer broke him with a well-constructed attack and a drop shot winner to move 4-2 ahead and make another big step towards the title.

Both players served well in the remaining games, and Roger secured the victory with a service winner at 5-3 to lift the trophy and catch Pete Sampras on the ATP titles tally.