The 20-time Grand Slam champion, Roger Federer was once a ball boy on the courts of Basel and today the same lad pulls off his ninth title on the same arena.
The 32-year-old is the first South African to reach the ATP Finals in 23 years and follows in the footsteps of compatriot Wayne Ferreira who achieved the feat in 1995.
Seventh-seeded Daniil Medvedev, who is also in Federer's half of the draw, beat Maximilian Marterer of Germany 6-3, 7-5.
The Swiss crowd favourite was never able to comfortably take command against an opponent whom he had defeated in their last six meetings.
His qualification means there are two places still up for grabs ahead of the Paris Masters, with Croatian Marin Cilic, Austrian Dominic Thiem, Nishikori and American John Isner still in the race.
Anderson won in three sets in their only meeting this season.
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"Maybe I had to win it through good returning, through fighting and all that stuff, so maybe differently than some of my past tournament victories", Federer said.
"I'm starting to really get to understand the conditions and it was consistent, my most consistent match by far".
"I came through qualifying and I didn't know what to expect but here I am", said the 28-year-old Copil.
Anderson was runner-up to Djokovic at Wimbledon this year but the win in Vienna represented the biggest title of his career.
However, it wasn't a smooth ride for the 20-time grand slam victor as he dropped his serve five times and was only 59 per cent accurate on his usually sharp first delivery.
The top-seeded Swiss rallied from trailing by a service break in each set against the 93rd-ranked Romanian, whose serve was measured at 243 kph (151 mph) in his opening service game.
Federer started his slow recovery with a break for 4-5; he then saved set points to level at 6-all, winning a game in which he double-faulted twice in a row and saved a set point with an ace. But a quick match point opportunity two games later allowed Federer to close as his opponent sent a return over the baseline.