BARCLAYS ATP WORLD TOUR FINALS 2011
Federer Stuns Nadal, Qualifies For SFs
by James Buddell|
Five-time titlist and defending champion Roger Federer qualified for the semi-finals at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals on Tuesday with a 6-3, 6-0 victory over his great rival, second seed Rafael Nadal.
Federer won his first match over Nadal since last year's final at the year-end championship, by hitting 28 winners to four in a 60-minute win. It was their fifth meeting in England. Nadal leads 17-9 in their series.
"It was a great match for me basically from start to finish," said Federer. "I was able to do what I was hoping to do: dominate from the baseline, play close to the baseline, serve well, take his time away. [It] hasn't always worked.
"I always knew I could beat Rafa. The question is sometimes it was hard to do because he has a big say, as well, in how the matches go. The quicker the court, the more I favour myself. Maybe Rafa didn't play his very best tonight. But on an indoor court, it all happens very quickly as we saw at the end. For me it was an exciting match to play."
Third seed Federer broke Nadal's serve to love for a 4-2 lead and went onto close out the first set in 32 minutes, having hit 12 winners - including nine off the forehand wing - and winning 17 of 21 first service points.
Federer ran through the second set, as Nadal won just nine of 35 total points. The 30-year-old Swiss committed just eight unforced errors and hit seven aces to improve his perfect indoor record to 13-0 in 2011.
"The score is true, and today he played too good for me," said Nadal. "Just accept that today when you play against Federer and he's playing like this, the only way to stay in the match is have free points with the serve, because for the rest his level was too high in this surface. And I didn't had these free points as usual."
Federer could overtake Andy Murray as year-end No. 3 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings by reaching the final at The O2.
He has a 61-12 match record on the season, highlighted by three ATP World Tour titles at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha (d. Davydenko), the Swiss Indoors Basel (d. Nishikori) and the BNP Paribas Masters in Paris (d. Tsonga).
Nadal, who plays Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Thursday, drops to a 67-14 season mark. He has won three tour-level titles this year, including a sixth trophy at Roland Garros (d. Federer). Making his fifth appearance at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, Nadal has a 9-9 event record.
"Is not the moment to say good bye," said Nadal. "Is not the moment to go down; is the moment to keep fighting. I'm still in the tournament. I still have the chance to be in the semi-finals because if I win the next match I will be in semi-finals. So it's the moment to keep fighting with positive attitude and is the moment to accept when [Federer] plays like this he is better than me."
Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrice of York watched the match.