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Sunday, 4 February, 2001, 17:06 GMT
Federer claims first ATP title
Roger Federer
Federer is now aiming to climb the world rankings
R Federer (Swi) bt J Boutter (Fra) 6-4 6-7 6-4

Switzerland's Roger Federer won his first ATP title by beating Frenchman Julien Boutter in the Milan Indoor final.

The 19-year-old is one of the up-and-coming stars on the men's tennis scene and won the first set with ease before his opponent found form in the second set.

Both players broke serve twice and unseeded Boutter, playing in his first final at 26, won the tiebreak 9-7.

But Boutter's serve, the key to his semi-final victory over Greg Rusedski, let him down in the opening game of the deciding set and he never recovered against Federer's forceful baseline play to lose 6-4 6-7 6-4.

I can look forward to the rest of the season with a little of that pressure to win off my shoulders
  Roger Federer
"I think I am improving and I have achieved the first goal in my career.

"My next goal is to break into the top 15, which is a high aim but not an impossible one".

Federer, who defeated second seed Yevgeny Kafelnikov in the semi-final, was playing in his third final after losing last year to compatriot Marc Rosset in Marseille and in Basle to Thomas Enqvist of Sweden.

Questionable line calls

"To lose three finals in a row would have been a little uncomfortable mentally.

"But now I can look forward to the rest of the season with a little of that pressure to win an event off my shoulders," said Federer, ranked 29th at the end of 2000.

Boutter by contrast looked back on some questionable line calls.

"I found the umpiring pretty bad and that is the first time I have said something like that in public - there were too many mistakes for both sides."

But the Frenchman, who ended 2000 ranked number 87 in the world, was keen to reflect on the positive aspects of his week in Italy.

"I feel good and this has probably been the best week in my life. It would be a big mistake to be disappointed."

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