Roger Federer was delighted to win the inaugural Istanbul Open on Sunday - but revealed it has been a 'long tough week' in Turkey.
The World No.2 was the star attraction at the tournament, and the Swiss did not disappoint the supporters as he defeated Pablo Cuevas 6-3 7-6(11) to lift the 85th title of his glittering career.
"It's been a tough week; four tough matches," Federer, who was taken to three sets in two of his matches, told reporters.
"I thought the final was my best one. I'm very happy. I'm very proud to be the first champion here at the first-time tournament here in Istanbul. In Turkey, I've had a wonderful week. On and off the court, I was able to visit the city a little bit, meet a lot of people, enjoy the crowd support and experience Turkey."
Federer's clay-court campaign began slowly as he was beaten in the last 16 of the Monte-Carlo Masters by Gael Monfils.
Federer happy with tournament win
However, the record 17-time Grand Slam champion has been working on certain aspects of his game on clay for nearly a month as he looks to gain confidence going into back-to-back Masters events in Madrid and Rome and then the French Open.
After taking the opening set in 33 minutes, Federer looked to be on course for a comfortable victory when he broke his opponent in the seventh game of the second set.
Cuevas, though, levelled the match at 4-4 and moved into a 5-4 lead. Federer forced a tiebreak and saved three set points, and managed to avoid another match going into a deciding set by converting his fifth match point to claim his third triumph of the year.
"It's been crazy, in a good way, and I hope I can do it again one day," added Federer on playing and visiting Istanbul. "Right now, I'm just happy I was able to win the tournament. It's always the best feeling for an athlete to be the champion at the end of a long tough week."
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