BARCLAYS ATP WORLD TOUR FINALS 2012
Ferrer Ends London Campaign With Tipsarevic Win
by James Buddell|
Fourth seed David Ferrer recorded his 74th match win of a career-best season on Saturday, completing his Barclays ATP World Tour Finals campaign with a 4-6, 6-3, 6-1 win over eighth seed Janko Tipsarevic in two hours and seven minutes. Ferrer finished with a 2-1 record in Group B play.
The result means that second seed and six-time former champion Roger Federer tops the group and sixth seed Juan Martin del Potro finishes in second place. Federer will next play Group A runner-up Andy Murray, the No. 3 seed, while del Potro faces top seed and 2008 titlist Novak Djokovic in Saturday’s semi-finals.
Ferrer, who has won an ATP World Tour-best seven titles this year, came into the evening match knowing that he could not qualify for the semi-finals at The O2 in London. But he fought hard to beat Tipsarevic for the fourth time in five meetings. The encounter was watched by 17,642 spectators.
“It was not easy, because I knew before the match [that] if I won, I was would qualify for the semi-finals,” said Ferrer, the 2007 runner-up. “I began very badly. But in the second set, I played better and I won the match. It was important because I have more [South African Airways ATP Rankings] points and it's good for the next year.”
Determined to make-up for below par performances earlier in the week, Tipsarevic got off to a fine start breaking Ferrer in the first and third games en route to a 4-0 lead. From 4-1 to 5-3, there were three straight service breaks as Ferrer’s gutsy, battling qualities returned in what was becoming a highly competitive set. Tipsarevic completed the 49-minute opener on his third set point chance, with a cracking forehand that spun away from Ferrer. It was the first set Tipsarevic had won during the week.
Roles were reversed in the second set as Ferrer, who beat Tipsarevic in the US Open quarter-finals this year, raced into a 3-0 lead, much to the delight of The O2 crowd. Just as it looked like he would cruise through the set, Ferrer swiped the court in frustration as a mis-timed forehand went wide in the fifth game. But Tipsarevic failed to capitalise as Ferrer broke back in the next game. At 5-3, 40/15, Ferrer hit a well-placed serve, which Tipsarevic could barely reach on his backhand. The two baseliners rarely attacked the net in the 44-minute set. Tipsarevic wisely stayed back after being passed by Ferrer on six occasions.
At 1-1 in the deciding set, Tipsarevic remained competitive. But the energy drained from his legs after he made two forehand errors and got broken, when Ferrer racing into the net for a routine winner. Tipsarevic won two more point in his next three service games. He threatened to resurgence at 1-4, in a 10-point Ferrer service game, but the Serbian ultimately dropped to 4-25 lifetime against Top 5 players.
“I wanted to win a match,” said Tipsarevic. “I was feeling better, as you can see in the first set. As the match progressed, I was running out of fuel, and the points, which I was sometimes winning at the beginning of the match, I just ended up losing them. My serve start to drop. I didn't win as many free points as I did in the first set. In the end, David used that in the best possible way.”
Ferrer hit 27 winners and committed just as many unforced errors in his final match of the week. He beat del Potro 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 on Tuesday, but lost to Federer 6-4, 7-6(5) for the 14th time on Thursday.
The 30-year-old Spaniard will next compete for Spain, alongside Nicolas Almagro, Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez, in its Davis Cup final against the Czech Republic next week. Ferrer won his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crown at the BNP Paribas Masters in Paris (d. Janowicz) last week.
Tipsarevic finishes his season with a 57-28 match record.
“Overall, I'm happy,” said Tipsarevic, when asked about his 2012 season. “I'm happy with the consistency that I had. I didn't lose too many matches with guys who are not Top 20. I managed to stay consistently Top 10 until the end of the year. Being here is a big honour for me for the second year in a row.
“It's very simple, if I want to attack those guys in front, I need to take my time and become a better tennis player. I believe I can do it.”