10/22/12 3:44 PM | Johan Lindahl
Memories will come flooding back for Roger Federer as the world No. 1 plays again at his hometown event, the Swiss Indoors. Bidding to win a sixth title in his own personal tennis stronghold of Basel.
The top seed got his start in the game as a ballboy nearly two decades ago and has never lost his love for the sport first developed in the St Jakobshalle. "I was a ball boy," he recalled in the run-up to this year's edition. As a result of that experience, Federer always takes time after the Basel final to share a pizza with the current crop of ball kids, a custom he has developed over the years.
But it was when he began actually playing that the significance of the venue really kicked in for him. "I remember my match against Andre Agassi (1998), which was obviously not a match I could win at the time, but I was happy to be on center court.
"Basel has given me joy and pain. The most difficult time I had was the final against Enqvist (2000), I played a good match but he was amazing.
"When I lost, during the awards ceremony I began to see all black in front of me, I thought that I would never win a tournament. In 2006, against Fernando Gonzalez, I finally was able to realize my dream."
In the interim that dream has become a huge reality, with Federer taking victory at five of the last six editions at the tournament.
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