Federer Ends Season In Style

Josh Daniels

This week has seen the most exclusive tournament in tennis, the ATP World Tour Finals. Only the top eight ranked players are invited and the tennis is often majestic. This year the players invited to London’s O2 were: Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray, Roger Federer, David Ferrer, Jo-Wilfred Tsonga, Thomas Berdych and Mardy Fish.

The tournament began with a shock when Nadal faced Tsonga. Whilst there are no easy games, based on past meetings, Nadal had the edge. Tsonga obviously hadn’t read the script. Taking the first set after a thrilling tiebreak 7-2 he felt he had the better of Nadal. Easing off slightly, he started to make it more entertaining for the watching thousands. Nadal, sensing this lapse, pounced and broke Tsonga in the last game to take the set.

Tsonga, however, re-focused for the deciding set. He broke Nadal straight away and was heading for the win. Nadal had not been his usual, ferociously powerful self but let’s take nothing away from Tsonga, this win was a big win.

The most impressive performance came from David Ferrer, the 29 year old Spaniard is finally showing his potential. This is his third appearance in the tournament and whilst he was a losing finalist in 2007, he was only there as a replacement for Lleyton Hewitt. This year was different. Ranked fifth in the world and having beaten Federer and Nadal already this year, was confident that he could prove himself. His first match was against Andy Murray.

Murray battled well for the first set but eventually lost 6-4. After a lengthy medical break Murray came out to play the second set and fought well. Ferrer could see that Murray was struggling and started to move the ball around the court. Murray, drawing every last bit of Scottish grit, gave it his all but Ferrer did not buckle, taking the second set 7-5.

Ferrer’s second match was against world number one Novak Djokovic. Ferrer played well against Murray but he must think that he is ready to win a grand slam after his destruction of Djokovic. Ferrer broke in the first set to take a 2-0 lead. Djokovic held serve in the next two games before being broken again. Ferrer saw out a rallying effort from Djokovic to take the set 6-3. The second set saw Ferrer come out all guns blazing, with a thumping return off a Djokovic serve. Djokovic’s serve was broken twice in the deciding set as Ferrer closed it out 6-1. This win moved Ferrer into the final four.

As we entered the final day, Group B saw Roger Federer qualify, he was joined by Tsonga, Ferrer and Berdych. After a straight sets victory for Federer against in form Ferrer, Tsonga dispatched Berdych in straight sets after a final set tie breaker, setting up a meeting with Federer. After upsetting the odds and defeating Nadal early in the tournament, Tsonga’s spirits were high. However after taking the Swiss legend to a deciding set, Federer’s class and winning mentality showed through. The sixteen time grand slam champion just had too much when it came down to it and he must now be hoping his current run of form runs into the new season.

Federer said winning a record sixth season-ending crown was “one of his greatest accomplishments.” A set and a break up, Federer looked comfortable and was on course for a routine victory. The powerful Frenchman had other ideas and broke back. He then saved a match point to snatch the second set on a tie-break. Federer raised his game in the deciding set coming through strongly 6-3, 6-7,6-3 to collect a 70th title in his 100th career final. “It feels very special indeed,” said Federer, 30, “I know it’s one of my greatest accomplishments. It was the strongest finish to a season I’ve ever had in my career.”

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