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For the sixth time in his career, Roger Federer has won the year-end tournament, capturing the ATP World Tour Finals title with a three-set victory over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in a fantastic match. Federer won the first set and was up a break, cruising in the second before Tsonga pulled off an improbable break, then won the tiebreak. The two went blow for blow in the third, but Tsonga cracked first as Federer eventually won the match 6-3, 6-7, 6-3.
After losing the first set definitively by a break, Tsonga appeared as if he was going to bow out in straight sets before pulling off a break of Federer late in the second, eventually forcing a tiebreaker. In the tiebreaker, Tsonga saved championship point before going on to win, forcing a third set.
Match commentator Patrick McEnroe remarked that, when players lose a championship point in the second set before losing a tiebreak, they often go on to lose the third set without putting up much of a fight. Federer did struggle in the third, often failing to get his first serve in, but fought through points and won and incredible amount of second serve points, never facing a break point in the final set.
With Federer up 4-3 on serve, Tsonga and Federer went to deuce on Tsonga's serve, with the Frenchman saving three break points. He couldn't pull off the feat a fourth time in the game, as Federer clinched a decisive break. He went on to win his final service game at love, capturing his record sixth year-end title.
The match between Roger Federer and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the ATP World Tour Finals' round robin play was perhaps the best of that round of play. Federer won the first set easily, but Tsonga bounced back with an excellent second set victory. Federer eventually took the match, winning the third set by one break. On Sunday, they face off again in the final.
Federer is 6-3 all time against Tsonga, with the players already playing in three high-profile matches before this final during the 2011 season. Tsonga got the better of Federer at Wimbledon with an incredible comeback victory in five sets, but Federer got him back at the finals of the Paris Masters with a straight sets victory.
If Federer wins on Sunday, he will capture his sixth title in the tour finals, an all-time record. The match is also Federer's 100th final, and if he wins it will be his 70th title.
Roger Federer and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will have to play a rematch of their entertaining three-set round robin match, thanks to their semifinal wins on Saturday. The two will face off yet again in the ATP World Tour Finals championship match after both won their semifinals in straight sets.
Federer made relatively simple work of David Ferrer, winning a fantastic 86 percent of his first serve points while recording six aces and not giving up a break point. Ferrer never really got his game going as Federer dominated throughout his 7-5,6-3 victory.
Tsonga was almost as good in the late match against Tomas Berdych as he won by an almost identical score, 6-3,7-5. Tsonga recorded seven aces and was even better on his first serve, winning 90 percent of his first serve points.
For only the second time in their careers, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga takes on Tomas Berdych in a surprising semifinal matchup. This semifinal was supposed to feature a high-profile matchup between Rafael Nadal and home-nation hero Andy Murray, but a variety of circumstances have led Tsonga and Berdych to the semifinals of the ATP World Tour Finals.
Berdych has won the only meeting between the two players. Despite coming into the semifinals with two wins, he's yet to play convincing tennis. He was the only man Novak Djokovic beat in the first round and his wins came over replacement Janko Tipsarevic and David Ferrer, who had already qualified for the semifinals before they met. Meanwhile, Tsonga is in very good form, as his wins over Nadal and Mardy Fish came thanks to fantastic performances against players giving their best.
Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal did not bring their best to London, while Andy Murray had to withdraw from the ATP World Tour Finals with an injury. This left Roger Federer as the favorite to repeat as tour champion, and he's stepped up to the plate so far. The Swiss enters his semifinal match against David Ferrer as the clear favorite after three straight wins, as he is very much at the top of his game.
Ferrer and Federer have met plenty of times, but Ferrer has never won. Federer is an incredible 11-0 against his semifinal opponent. Based on Ferrer's hard court history and his loss to Tomas Berdych, there's no reason to believe he's going to break the streak on Saturday. The winner of this match moves on to face the winner of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga vs. Tomas Berdych.
Federer and Ferrer play the second match of the day, following a doubles semifinal. The match will start not before 9:00 am ET, 2:00 pm local time in London.
David Ferrer is already through to the semifinals of the ATP World Tour Finals, but his match against Tomas Berdych is still a massive one. If Ferrer wins, he'll finish round robin play at 3-0 and likely avoid Roger Federer in the semifinals. If a player is able to win the tournament undefeated, they double their purse.
Completely independent of his self-interest, Ferrer also needs to win for Novak Djokovic to progress. Djokovic is only 1-2 after his loss to Janko Tipsarevic, but will go through to the semifinals on tiebreakers if Ferrer is able to defeat Tomas Berdych. That won't be an easy task, as Berdych is playing well. He took Djokovic to a third set tiebreak on the first day, then defeated Tipsarevic in the second round of matches.
The match is the last match of the day at the O2 Arena in London, not starting before 3 pm ET, 8 pm GMT.
Following his poor performance against and surprise loss to David Ferrer on Wednesday, Novak Djokovic now needs to defeat his countryman Janko Tipsarevic to guarantee progression to the semifinals of the ATP World Tour Finals. Tipsarevic is 0-2 after inheriting Andy Murray's loss and cannot advance, but that's unlikely to stop him from trying to play spoiler.
The two players have only met three times, with Djokovic winning all three matches. The most recent of those was at the U.S. Open, where Tipsarevic unfortunately sustained an injury after a thrilling start. The players split the first two sets, both winning a set by tiebreak before a thigh injury derailed Tipsarevic. He lost the third set 6-0 and retired at 3-0 in the fourth.
If Djokovic loses, he could still advance with a David Ferrer win later if the tiebreaker falls his way. However, that's far from set in stone, and he probably needs a win.
Rafael Nadal is out of the ATP World Tour Finals, following his second consecutive loss of the tournament. This one was handed out by Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who won his second match of the tournament. Roger Federer also won on Thursday, defeating Mardy Fish. This means that Tsonga and Federer are through to the semifinals and that the final round between these four players will only be for seeding. Nadal vs. Fish will be a mere consolation match.
Tsonga won an incredible 84 percent of points on his first serve as Nadal failed to bring his famous return skills in a 7-6 (2), 4-6, 6-3 Tsonga win. The Frenchman recorded 11 aces in the match and actually returned serve better than Nadal in a minor upset.
Federer was taken the distance in his match as well, with Fish winning the second set in Federer's 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 victory. While Federer wasn't exactly as spectacular as he was in his win over Nadal, he broke Fish four times and did a better job than the American with his first serve.
Following his massive straight sets win over Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic's poor performance against David Ferrer on Wednesday, Roger Federer is now suddenly the favorite to repeat as champion at the ATP World Tour Finals. In the Thursday early match, Federer takes on American Mardy Fish, who has had the best season of his career in 2011.
Fish was outplayed by Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the first round of matches, though he was able to take the Frenchman to a tiebreak thanks to some great service games. Federer is a significantly better returned than Tsonga, however, and it would be surprising to see Fish put up a high volume of aces.
Federer is 6-1 against Fish all time. While he doesn't exactly struggle with confidence or composure in any situation, Federer will likely be especially confident going into this match after his win against Nadal. The match starts at 9:00 am ET, 2:00 pm local time in London.
For just the fifth time this season, Novak Djokovic is a loser. He can still advance to the semifinals of the 2011 ATP World Tour Finals with a win over his countryman Janko Tipsarevic in the final round, but his qualification chances took a hit Wednesday. David Ferrer is now 5-6 career against Djokovic, thanks to his convincing 6-3, 6-1 victory over the World's No. 1 player.
Djokovic simply wasn't on his game Wednesday, and it's not unfair to say that he didn't give his best effort in the second set. Once Ferrer broke Djokovic to go up 2-0 in the second set, Djoker appeared to start playing considerably less aggressive and conserve his energy for another day, letting Ferrer coast to an upset. That's not to take anything away from Ferrer, who played brilliantly in the first set and didn't make mistakes to let Djokovic back into the match in the second.
In the earlier match, Tomas Berdych recovered from a first set loss to defeat Janko Tipsarevic 2-6, 6-3, 7-6, saving a match point in the tiebreak before going on to win. Berdych is now 1-1 and will advance to the semifinals if he defeats Ferrer on the final day.
Novak Djokovic is heavily favored on Wednesday night against David Ferrer, by virtue of only having lost four times this season, but the Spaniard could have a better chance than most. Ferrer's confidence should be high after defeating Andy Murray in the first round. Though Murray was obviously hobbled and probably shouldn't have been playing, Ferrer played great tennis in front of a crowd that was heavily biased against him. Meanwhile, Djokovic was taken to three sets by Tomas Berdych.
Djokovic had an extremely favorable record against Berdych coming into this tournament, but he is just 6-4 against Ferrer. Though Ferrer's best play has come on clay courts, he's no slouch on any surface. Based on Djokovic's play in the first round and Ferrer's career record against him, this shouldn't be a walkover.
Both players won their first round match, and both players will be all but into the next round with a win.
Janko Tipsarevic has had his best season as a professional in 2011, but he has a tough road to qualification for the second round of the 2011 ATP World Tour Finals. After entering the tournament as the first alternate, replacing the injured Andy Murray, Tipsarevic now has to win twice in a row to advance. Though almost no one will give him much of a chance of winning his second match against Novak Djokovic, he can make things interesting with a Wednesday win over Tomas Berdych.
While Berdych had a favorable 3-1 career record against Murray, he's 1-4 career against Tipsarevic. The Serbian has a great record on hard courts this season, getting to four finals on hard courts, winning two titles on the surface, and reaching the U.S. Open quarterfinals.
Murray lost to David Ferrer in the first round of matches, while Berdych fell to Djokovic. Though a scenario where three players finish 1-2 is very possible, this is a virtual elimination game and it will be extremely difficult for the loser to recover. If Tipsarevic falls before his match with Djokovic, his finals will be over before they really got started.
Roger Federer has never lost to Rafael Nadal on a hard court, but it would have been hard to imagine a thrashing as bad as Nadal took today. Federer brought his best on Tuesday evening, while Nadal played one of his worst matches in recent memory as Federer won in straight sets, 6-3, 6-0.
Nadal won less than half of his first serve points and only won 15 percent of points on Federer's first serve. Federer won 80 percent of his service points, a stunning stat against a returner as good as Nadal. At no point did Nadal force Federer into a break point.
In the earlier match, Mardy Fish struggled to deal with the serve of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, while struggling to get his own serve in as the Frenchman won 7-6 (7-4), 6-1.
On a hard court in front of a partisan crowd, Andy Murray fell to David Ferrer in straight sets. He committed a number of errors, looked a bit slow, and served poorly. It seemed like a simple case of a poor performance, but news has come out that Murray was suffering from an injury that he attempted to play through. Unfortunately, that injury has now forced Murray to withdraw from the 2011 ATP World Tour Finals.
Murray will be replaced by Janko Tipsarevic, who faces a tough task to get himself into the semifinals. To advance, he will likely have to defeat both Tomas Berdych and his countryman Novak Djokovic - who has lost just four times this year - in succession. Djokovic defeated Berdych on Monday and will play Ferrer for the top spot in the group on Wednesday.
Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer have had a number of fantastic battles over their careers, but this is only their second high-profile meeting of the season. The two stars met in the final of the French Open where Nadal won in four sets, but that was it for their meetings this season. After years of being the clear top two players in the world, Novak Djokovic took his game to another level this season, preventing the world from seeing more of Federer and Nadal against each other.
Due to Nadal's proficiency on clay courts and the number of clay court matches they've played, Nadal has a career record of 17-8 against Federer. The Spaniard has defeated Federer on other surfaces, but off of the clay their record is a bit more even.
The French open was the only major between the two players this season, as Djokovic took the other three. Federer did not have a great season by his standards, but won two smaller titles late in the season. The two face off in the final match of the Tuesday session from the O2 Arena in London, England.
Andy Murray came into the 2011 ATP World Tour Finals as the third seed, but there's no doubt about who the best three players in the world are. Two 'other' players had to end up in a group with two of Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. That's exactly what happened to Mardy Fish and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who are both desperate for a win on Tuesday. Tsonga lost to Federer in three sets on Sunday, while Fish took Nadal to the brink, eventually losing in a third set tiebreaker.
Due to the tournament's format where the top two players from each group advance, this is a must-win for both players. Pending the results of today's Nadal-Federer match, it's most likely that the winner of this match will end up in a win and they're in, lose and they're out scenario in the third round of matches.
Tsonga and Fish have met just once, with Tsonga winning their only career meeting.
Andy Murray is 5-3 against David Ferrer, is better on hard courts than the Spaniard and had a very partisan crowd behind him in his first match at the 2011 ATP World Tour Finals. The last meeting between these two players was on a hard court at Masters Shanghai, with Murray winning in straight sets. Despite having all of this on his side, Murray failed to live up to expectations on Monday, falling 4-6, 5-7 to Ferrer in the first match of Group A.
The match was close with Ferrer winning each set by just one break, but Murray failed to get his serve on track. The Scotsman won just 44 percent of points on his second serve and recorded just four aces. Neither player served particularly well, as both were broken multiple times, but Ferrer's serve was just a little bit better. The Spaniard got 56 percent of his first serves in, while Murray got his first serve in just 44 percent of the time.
Tomas Berdych is making his second consecutive appearance in the ATP World Tour Finals, but he'll need a near miracle to defeat Novak Djokovic in their group play match on Monday. Djokovic is 7-1 against Berdych and Berdych has just six wins against the other three players in Group A of the 2011 World Tour Finals.
Djokovic is the No. 1 overall seed in the singles tournament with a record of 69-4 on the season. His three grand slam victories and four Masters titles helped him earn $10.6 million up to this point in the season, which is the most money a player has ever earned in a season. He'll take that prize money total over $11 million if he's able to win the Finals in London.
The last time Berdych and Djokovic met in a major tournament was in the 2011 Australian Open, where Djokovic was the champion. Berdych struggled in Grand Slams this season, but was able to reach the quarterfinals of the Australian Open. There, he met the unstoppable force that was Djokovic and was crushed, 1-6, 6-7, 1-6.
Berdych and Djokovic play the final match of Day 2 at the O2 Arena at London, with the match not starting before 8:00 pm GMT, or 3:00 pm ET.
Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal decided today was the day that it would take three sets to win at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals
Nadal edged past American Mardy Fish in the third set tiebreak, 6-2, 3-6, 7-6 (3). Despite what Nadal called a "terrible stomach" that caused him to run off court, he was victorious in his first match after a month hiatus.
Federer stumbled his way to a 6-2, 2-6, 6-4 victory against Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, but his bracket toward a record sixth title is already one win closer. Playing in London's O2 Arena Federer breezed to a 21 minute, 6-2 first set, but a break in the third game of the second set saw the former World No. 1 falter as Tsonga snatched the second 6-2.
From the AFP:
"Jo-Wilfried served well in the second set and it was hard to control the rallies at the baseline," Federer said.
Federer was just one week off his 6-1, 7-6 defeat of Tsonga in the title game of the Paris Masters.
The world's second-ranked player Rafael Nadal will face off against the top-ranked American in the world, but the ATP World Tour Finals' lowest seed, Mardy Fish at 1: 15 p.m. ET on the Tennis Channel.
Fish has had a spectacular season by his standards, reaching his highest ranking and playing in his first ATP World Tour Finals, a tournament reserved for the top eight players in the world. He's 43-22 on the season, including 10-4 in Grand Slams. He won the Atlanta Tennis Championships and made the finals of the Rogers Cup in Montreal and the Farmer's Classic in Los Angeles. He's 1-2 in matches against Nadal, most famously falling to the Spaniard in the quarterfinals of Wimbledon.
Nadal is having another superb season, bettered only in the tennis world by Novak Djokovic's ridiculous run. He's the clear-cut second-best player in the world, having won three titles, including the French Open (again) in 2011. It's actually the fewest titles he's won since 2004, but he's made the finals of seven other tournaments — clearly the rise of Djokovic has had a profound effect on Nadal's record. Regardless, he's playing at a high level and shouldn't have much problem dispatching Fish.
The ATP World Tour Finals continue Sunday as Rafael Nadal goes up against Mardy Fish.
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