WORLD No2 Roger Federer is relishing the chance to win his seventh end of season championships, after yesterday becoming the first player to qualify for the last four of the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals with a straight sets victory over David Ferrer.
The 17-time grand slam champion faced 10 break points against the world No5 but prevailed 6-4, 7-6 (7-5) to take his impressive record over the Spaniard to 14-0. Federer has now managed to reach the semi-finals 10 times in 11 appearances at the season-ending tournament.
The Swiss clearly feels at home in London, having won his seventh Wimbledon title and an Olympic silver medal here in the summer.
“It’s always been the tournament I wanted to be part of when I started playing at the beginning of the year,” Federer said. “I had breakthrough results at this event. I learned a lot. I’ve loved everywhere I’ve played over the years at the World Tour Finals. I think this one is obviously special, because it’s in London and the O2 is an amazing venue.”
Ferrer struggled to keep up with his imperious opponent in the opening exchanges, failing to convert three break points in each of Federer’s opening service games to go 3-0 down. However the dogged Spaniard composed himself and won three successive games with his typical relentless brand of tennis.
The crucial break came in the 10th game when Federer’s sublime groundstrokes forced the errors from Ferrer, who was left rueing those missed early chances.
Service dominated the second set with Ferrer failing to convert a further series of break-points. At 5-6, the Spaniard won four straight points from 0-30 to force the set to tie-break.
But Federer’s exquisite variety and well-placed serves moved him 6-3 up and clinched another victory. Ferrer must defeat Janko Tipsarevic tomorrow to guarantee his progress.
Meanwhile 2009 US Open champion Juan Martin Del Potro boosted his chances of qualifying by defeating Tipsarevic 6-0, 6-4, and plays Federer tomorrow to try to secure his place. He may not go through if Ferrer beats Tipsarevic, even with a win.