Federer into seventh year-end final
Originally published on: 30/11/11 16:38
Roger Federer cantered through to his seventh final at the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals after beating David Ferrer for a 12th successive time.
The Swiss had dropped just three sets against Ferrer in their 11 previous meetings and he maintained his hold over the diminutive Spaniard in seemingly effortless fashion with a 7-5 6-3 triumph.
“It’s not so easy as it might look and seem,” said Federer of playing Ferrer. “It’s a lot of hard work. I think today, again, was very close. I’ve maybe had some easier matches against him, but lately they’ve all been very tough, very physical.”
The win means Federer is the fifth player in the Open Era to reach 100 ATP World Tour event finals and also sees Federer recapture the world No.3 spot from Andy Murray to ensure that he will end the year inside the top three for the ninth year running.
Ferrer, meanwhile was left to pay for his inability to close out his match against Tomas Berdych last night, where a win would have seen him top Group A, gain a few extra hours of rest and face Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in Saturday night’s second semi-final instead.
A close opening set could have gone Ferrer’s way though. The harrying Spaniard pushed the world No.3 hard and had a glimmer of a chance to take the opener while leading 5-4.
With an opportunity to bring up set point on the Swiss’ second serve, Ferrer overcooked a straightforward backhand and berated himself at the missed opening. It wasn’t his last, but more chances came and went until Federer finally held after Ferrer had dragged a backhand into the tramlines.
Immediately reversing the onslaught, the new world No.3 brought up two break points in the very next game. Ferrer saved the first, but the Swiss finally drew first blood at 30-40 when his opponent fired a forehand into the tramlines.
The 30 year old won the set after 50 minutes on a huge outwide serve that Ferrer got a racket on, but could do nothing with. Now firmly in his groove, Federer secured a swifter break to start the second set, and from there the writing was on the wall for the Valencia native.
Ferrer fought hard to stop the sixteen-time Grand Slam champion from running away with the match, but he got on the board in the third game of the second set only after scampering to retrieve a Federer lob, before racing back across court to punch back a spectacular backhand pass on the run.
In the end, the damage had been done and as Ferrer proved unable to dent the Federer serve, the masterful Swiss ended it on a corking forehand that never came back.
“I think he was better than me, of course no?” shrugged Ferrer afterwards. “Maybe in the first set I had chance with 5-4. I [made] mistakes, my backhand.
“After this in the second set he was playing better. He was playing with more confidence. And me, I don’t serve really good. I did a little bit double faults.”