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Barclays ATP World Tour Finals - Final Preview

London, England

Roger Federer© Getty ImagesRoger Federer will face Rafael Nadal for the 22nd time in Sunday's final.

It was the match-up everyone was anticipating, and now it's here: World No. 1 Rafael Nadal against No. 2 Roger Federer, winners of 21 of the last 23 Grand Slams tournaments (12 for Federer, nine for Nadal). They have accounted for the ATP World Tour No. 1 ranking the past seven years – Federer from 2004-07, ’09 and Nadal in 2008 and this year. Both players are undefeated this week (4-0). This is the first time since 1993 when Pete Sampras and Michael Stich entered the final unbeaten. Stich won that final in Frankfurt.

WHAT’S AT STAKE –
Winner:  $1,630,000 (for week) and 1,500 South African Airways 2010 ATP Ranking points
Runner-up: $ 860,000 (for week) and 1,000 South African Airways 2010 ATP Ranking points

FINALS HISTORY –
Nadal:  Appearing in his 56th ATP World Tour level final. He is 43-12 in finals (7-1 in 2010)
Appearing in his first year-end championship final
Federer: Appearing in his 94th ATP World Tour level final. He is 65-28 in finals (4-4 in 2010)   
Appearing in his sixth year-end championship final…He is 4-1 in finals

This is the first time in 24 years the Top 2 players on the ATP World Tour have reached the season finale title match (No. 1 Ivan Lendl and No. 2 Boris Becker did it in 1986; Lendl won 64 64 64).
 
Both Nadal and Federer have put together their best ever run at the year-end championships this week. Nadal is playing in the final for the first time, while Federer is playing in his sixth final, the first without dropping a set. Federer, a four-time winner (2003-04, ’06-07), is trying to become the third player in the tournament’s 41-year history to win the title five times, joining Ivan Lendl and Pete Sampras. Federer is also looking to win this tournament in a third city (Houston, Shanghai). Ilie Nastase won in four different cities. If Federer wins, at 29 years, three months, 20 days, he would be the second-oldest to win this title (behind Nastase at 29 years, four months, 18 days, in 1975  Nadal is trying to become the first Spaniard since Alex Corretja in 1998 to win the year-end title (d. Moya).

Nadal and Federer will be playing for the 22nd time and the Spaniard leads 14-7. Since the start of the 2008 season he is 6-1 against the Swiss. Nadal holds a 12-5 record in finals against Federer although he is 0-2 on indoor courts, losing both semi-final matches in straight sets at the year-end championships in 2006-07 when this tournament was held in Shanghai. Federer went on to win the title each time.

In Saturday's semi-finals, Nadal and Federer fended off two of their closest challengers at the top. Nadal battled for three hours and 11 minutes to get past Andy Murray, 76(5) 36 76(6) (Murray hit 22 aces and won five more points in the match but could not close out the World No. 1). Federer followed with a 61 64 victory over Novak Djokovic in less than half the time, in one hour and 20 minutes.


RIVALRY OF THE AGES
- This is the 22nd meeting between two of the game’s all-time greats, 18th in a final (Nadal leads 12-5, winning six of the past seven)…The duo have combined to win 21 of the past 23 Grand Slam titles (since 2005 Roland Garros) except ’08 Aust. Open (Djokovic) and ’09 US Open (del Potro) withFederer winning 12 and Nadal nine
- This is their third indoor meeting (Federer leads 2-0), winning in the semi-finals of the Tennis Masters Cup in Shanghai in 2006-07
- Nadal leads 7-3 in ATP World Tour Masters 1000 play and 6-2 in Grand Slam meetings
- England is one of 10 different countries they have played in: England (four times), France (four times), Monaco (three times), China (twice), Germany (twice), Spain (twice), United States (twice), Australia (once), Italy (once), and United Arab Emirates (once)
- In the previous 21 matches, the winner of the first set has gone on to win 16 times, including last 10

FedEx ATP Head 2 Head
(1) Rafael Nadal (ESP) vs (2) Roger Federer (SUI)                   Nadal Leads 14-7
04 ATP Masters Series Miami (U.S.A.) Hard R32 Rafael Nadal 6-3 6-3
05 ATP Masters Series Miami (U.S.A.) Hard F Roger Federer   2-6  6-7(4) 7-6(5)  6-3  6-1
05 Roland Garros (France) Clay SF Rafael Nadal         6-3 4-6 6-4 6-3
06 Dubai (U.A.E.) Hard F Rafael Nadal 2-6 6-4 6-4
06 ATP Masters Series Monte Carlo  Clay F Rafael Nadal           6-2 6-7(2)6-3 7-6(5)
06 ATP Masters Series Rome (Italy) Clay F Rafael Nadal   6-7(0) 7-6(5) 6-4  2-6  7-6(5)
06 Roland Garros (France) Clay F Rafael Nadal            1-6   6-1 6-4  7-6(4)
06 Wimbledon (England) Grass F Roger Federer          6-0  7-6(5)  6-7(2) 6-3
06 Tennis Masters Cup (China) Hard (I) SF Roger Federer 6-4 7-5
07 ATP Masters Series Monte Carlo  Clay F Rafael Nadal 6-4 6-4
07 ATP Masters Series Hamburg  Clay F Roger Federer 2-6 6-2 6-0
07 Roland Garros (France) Clay F Rafael Nadal           6-3 4-6 6-3 6-4
07 Wimbledon (England) Grass F Roger Federer 7-6(7)4-6 7-6(3) 2-6 6-2
07 Tennis Masters Cup (China) Hard (I) SF Roger Federer 6-4 6-1
08 ATP Masters Series Monte Carlo  Clay F Rafael Nadal 7-5 7-5
08 ATP Masters Series Hamburg  Clay F Rafael Nadal 7-5 6-7(3)6-3
08 Roland Garros (France) Clay F Rafael Nadal 6-1 6-3 6-008 08 Wimbledon (England) Grass F Rafael Nadal     6-4  6-4 6-7(5) 6-7(8)9-7
09 Australian Open (Australia) Hard F Rafael Nadal       7-5 3-6  7-6(3)3-6 6-2
09 ATP Masters 1000 Madrid (Spain) Clay F Roger Federer 6-4 6-4
10 ATP Masters 1000 Madrid (Spain) Clay    F   Rafael Nadal     6-4   7-6(5)
 
                                Rafael Nadal                                    Roger Federer
Sets Won:                       42                                                   29
Tiebreak Sets Won:           8                                                     9
Match Wins By Surface: 10-2 on Clay      3-3 on Hard       2-1 on Grass

Most Final Match-ups in Open Era
Players (No. of match-ups)
Ivan Lendl vs. John McEnroe 20*
Rafael Nadal vs. Roger Federer 18
Andre Agassi vs. Pete Sampras 16
Boris Becker vs. Stefan Edberg 16
Jimmy Connors v John McEnroe 15
Boris Becker v Ivan Lendl 13
* One final not played due to rain

NADAL FASTFACTS

2010 Highlights:
W: ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Monte Carlo (d Verdasco); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Rome (d Ferrer); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Madrid (d Federer); Roland Garros (d Soderling); Wimbledon (d Berdych); US Open (d Djokovic); Tokyo (d Monfils); F: Doha (l Davydenko); SF: ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Indian Wells (l Ljubicic); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Miami (l Roddick); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Canada (l Murray); Bangkok (l Garcia-Lopez); QF: Australian Open (l Murray); London / Queen's Club (l Lopez); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Cincinnati (l Baghdatis)
YTD W-L: 71-9  (40-8 on hard, 6-1 indoor, 22-7 in Tie-breaks)
YTD Titles: 7/Career Titles: 43
Date of Birth: June 3, 1986
South African Airways 2010 ATP Ranking: 1

Tournament History: The Spaniard is appearing in his first final and he’s undefeated (4-0) this week, losing two sets while improving his career record to 9-7…On Saturday he defeated No. 5 Murray 76(5) 36 76(6) in 3:11 (longest match of week)…On Friday he beat Berdych 76(3) 61 after posting a 75 62 win over No. 3 Djokovic 75 62 on Wednesday …On Monday he opened by rallying to beat Roddick 36 76(5) 64 in first three-set match in round robin play…He has held serve 46 of 52 games (88%) this week, saving 13 of 19 break points, and leads in second serve points won (61%)…His previous best results are SF showings in 2006-07 (l. to Federer both times)…Has qualified six straight years for season finale but withdrew in ’05 and ’08 due to injuries…Last year went 0-3 in Group B, falling in straight sets to Soderling, Davydenko and Djokovic…The last player to go winless and come back following year to win title is Djokovic in 2008The last Spaniard to reach the final was David Ferrer in 2007 (l. to Federer) and last Spanish winner was Alex Corretja in 1998.

2010 in Review:
• The 24-year-old from Mallorca is appearing in his ninth final of the season…He led ATP World Tour with seven titles in eight finals…He is appearing in his fourth career indoor final (1-2) and his lone title came at ATP Masters 1000 Madrid in 2005 (d. Ljubicic)
• He’s won at least five titles for six straight years…He won his 70th match (71-9) of the season Friday and fourth time in his career he’s won at least 70 matches (career-high 82 in ’08)
• Finished as ATP World Tour No. 1 for second time in three years as he wrapped up top ranking after winning his first US Open title on Sept. 13
• He became seventh man in history to complete a career Grand Slam, youngest player in Open Era to win all four Grand Slam titles and first player to win three straight Grand Slam titles in same year since 1969 when Rod Laver pulled off Grand Slam
• He went 22-0 in spring clay court season, becoming first player to win a “Clay Slam” in a season, winning three ATP Masters 1000 titles (Monte Carlo, Rome, Madrid) along with Roland Garros for fifth time in six years (d. Soderling)…He returned to No. 1 on June 7 and stayed there rest of season
• He opened first three months with a 16-4 mark without a title before winning 55 of his next 60 matches from second week in April at ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Monte-Carlo (d. Verdasco) until final here in London
• In January he opened with a runner-up in Doha (l. to Davydenko, held two match points) and followed with a QF at Australian Open where he retired with a right knee injury (vs. Murray) on Jan. 26…Did not return until Indian Wells in March when he reached back-to-back semi-finals at the first two ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournaments in Indian Wells (l. to Ljubicic in third set TB) and Miami (l. to Roddick in three sets), falling to eventual champions in both
• He snapped an 11-month title drought in Monte-Carlo by becoming first player in Open Era to win a title for six straight years…The 14 games he lost in five matches was fewest he has dropped en route to a title in his career
• Two weeks later in Rome, he won a fifth title there...Held serve 49 of 50 games and saved 15 of 16 break points...At age 23 years, 11 months, he won a record-breaking 18th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title when he beat Federer 64 76(5) in Madrid
• At Roland Garros, he became second man (after Borg) in history to win five or more French titles…Did not drop a set during fortnight…The Spaniard's 24-match winning streak came to an end in QFs at Queen’s in London (l. to F. Lopez)
• He returned to action at Wimbledon, where he won his second title at All England Club…He defeated first-time major finalist Tomas Berdych in straight sets in final and became first Spaniard in history to win Wimbledon title twice
• In August at ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Toronto, he went on to reach SFs (l. to eventual champion Murray)...After a QF loss in Cincinnati (l. to Baghdatis), at US Open, where he was top seed, he beat Djokovic in four sets in a Monday rain-delayed final to win his first title in Flushing Meadows, dropping one set in seven matches…He is third Spaniard after Santana (1965) and Orantes (1975) to win US Open title…He is also second player to win Grand Slam titles on three different surfaces at least twice, behind Wilander
• In early October, reached SFs in Bangkok (l. to Garcia-Lopez), converting just two of 26 break point opportunities in two hours, 45 minutes…He then followed with his seventh tour-level title in Tokyo…He saved two match points in third set tie-break against Troicki in SFs
• His streak of reaching QFs or better in 15 straight tournaments ended in Shanghai where he lost to Melzer in 3rd RD…..Has earned a career-high $7,711,998

FEDERER FASTFACTS

2010 Highlights:
W: Australian Open (d Murray); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Cincinnati (d Fish); Stockholm (d Mayer); Basel (d Djokovic); F: ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Madrid (l Nadal); Halle (l Hewitt); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Toronto (l Murray); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Shanghai (l Murray); SF: Doha (l Davydenko); Estoril (l Montanes); US Open (l Djokovic); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Paris (l Monfils); QF: Roland Garros (l Soderling); Wimbledon (l Berdych)
YTD W-L: 64-13 (46-7 on hard, 16-1 indoor, 21-10 in Tie-breaks)
YTD Titles: 4/Career Titles: 65
Date of Birth: August 8, 1981
South African Airways 2010 ATP Ranking: 2
Tournament History: The Swiss native has 33-7 career record and he’s appearing in the final for the sixth time in nine showings in the year-end championships…He comes into the title match without dropping a set (8-0) for the first time…On Saturday he breezed past No. 3 Djokovic 61 64…On Thursday he defeated No. 5 Soderling 76(5) 63…On Tuesday he beat No. 5 Murray 64 62 (lost just eight points in nine service games) after opening on Sunday with a 61 64 win over No. 7 Ferrer…He leads the tournament in service games won (92%, 35 of 38 games won), saving seven of 10 break points, and in return games won (13 of 35 games, 37%)…Last year he won his round robin group with a 2-1 mark, beating Verdasco 46 75 61 and Murray 36 63 61 before losing to del Potro 62 67(5) 63 and Davydenko 62 46 75 in the semi-finals…The four-time champion (2003-04, ’06-07) is 4-1 in finals (l. in ’05 to Nalbandian in five sets)…The only time he didn’t advance out of round robin play was in 2008 as he posted a 1-2 record (l. to Simon and Murray, d. Stepanek).

Year-end Championship Final Results (4-1):
2007 – d. David Ferrer, Shanghai  62 63 62
2006 – d. James Blake, Shanghai  60 63 64
2005 – lost to David Nalbandian, Shanghai 67(4) 67(11) 62 61 76(3)
2004 – d. Lleyton Hewitt, Houston  63 62
2003 – d. Andre Agassi, Houston  63 60 64

2010 in Review:
• The 29-year-old Swiss native is making his ninth final appearance this year and he is 4-4 in title matches… Has won at least four titles for eight straight years and at least one for 10 consecutive years
• He will finish in Top 2 South African Airways ATP Rankings for a record eighth straight year
• Since his QF loss at Wimbledon, has won 33 of 37 matches during an eight tournament span, reaching six finals (incl. here)…His 65 career titles is No. 4 on Open Era titles list
• In first month of action, reached SFs in Doha (l. to Davydenko) and followed with his 16th career Grand Slam crown at Australian Open (d. Murray)…Became first father to win a Slam title since Agassi at ’03 Australian Open…Has won at least one Slam title for eight consecutive years, tying mark of Bjorn Borg and Sampras
• In first two ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournaments, reached 3rd Rd. in Indian Wells (losing to Baghdatis in a third set tie-break after holding three match points) and followed with 4th Rd. exit in Miami, falling to Berdych in a third set TB after holding match point
• During clay court circuit in May, lost in opening round to Gulbis at ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Rome, reached SFs in Estoril (l. to Montanes) and final at ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Madrid (l. to Nadal in lone meeting of year)…At Roland Garros, fell in  QFs to Soderling in four sets, ending his record of reaching 23 straight Grand Slam SFs (since ’04 Wimbledon)
• On June 7 dropped to No. 2, having been No. 1 for 285 weeks (one week shy of equalling Sampras' all-time record)...On grass in Halle reached final (l. to Hewitt), which ended a 15-match winning streak against his Aussie rival…It also ended a 29-match Halle win streak
• Returned as defending champion at Wimbledon, where he lost to Berdych in QFs…It was first time since 2002 he didn’t reach final at All England Club...On July 5, he dropped to No. 3 ranking for first time since Nov. 10, 2003 for six weeks
• In mid-August, returned at ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Toronto where he beat Berdych (QF) and Djokovic (SF) in three-setters before falling to No. 4 Murray in rain-interrupted final…Returned to No. 2 on Aug. 16
• The following week he snapped a seven month title drought by winning ATP Masters 1000 Cincinnati for fourth time (d. Fish in his 90th tour-level final)…Became first player to win back-to-back titles in Cincinnati since Agassi in 1995-96…It was also his 17th ATP Masters 1000 trophy, tying him with Agassi and one short of Nadal
• At US Open, advanced to SFs although he squandered two match points in fifth set loss to Djokovic in three hours, 44 minutes…Afterwards fell to No. 3 on Sept. 13 (for five weeks)
• Returned following month at ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Shanghai where he lost to Murray in final…Returned to No. 2 on Oct. 18…Then made his first appearance in Stockholm in 10 years and won his 64th tour-level title over German Florian Mayer…It was 18th different country he has won a tour level title…In addition, became first active player to reach 900 career singles matches played
• Two weeks later he won his fourth career title in his hometown of Basel (d. Djokovic)…In final ATP Masters 1000 event in Paris, his season-high 12-match winning streak came to an end in SFs against Gael Monfils as he lost in three tie-breaks (after holding five match points)…It was his fourth loss during year after holding match point…Only lost serve once in 48 games and hit 54 aces during the tournament

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