BARCLAYS ATP WORLD TOUR FINALS 2012
Federer Records 40th Match Win To Open Bid For Seventh Title
by James Buddell|
Second seed Federer lost just eight of his service points to beat eighth seed Tipsarevic 6-3, 6-1 in 69 minutes in their first Group B match at The O2 in London.
Federer, who first played Juan Carlos Ferrero at the season-ending championships in 2002 when it was held in Shanghai, had previously held the most match wins record with Andy Murray’s coach, Ivan Lendl.
“I'm happy with my level of play today against Janko, who is obviously a good player. I think it's nice conditions here. I've had a good year. It's true, I feel like I'm striking the ball well after today. I hope it's a sign for more to come hopefully.”
Federer raced into a 3-0 lead after nine minutes of play as Tipsarevic, who has been under the weather in recent days, struggled to adjust to the conditions. The Serbian won the fourth game, but Federer swept through the first set in 30 minutes, having hit 12 winners and committed nine unforced errors. Tipsarevic won 15 of his 22 service points.
The Swiss, who picked up the title in 2003-04, 2006-07 and 2010-11, completely dominated the second set, but Tipsarevic continued to battle, having qualified outright for the first time. Federer won five straight games from 1-1, as Tipsarevic’s forehand error count hit 13 for the match. Federer is now 40-7 lifetime at the prestigious championships.
Tipsarevic, who stepped in as an alternate for Andy Murray last year, saved five of nine break points but committed 21 unforced errors in total and drops to 0-6 overall against Federer.
“I think Roger was just too good,” said Tipsarevic. “I have not been feeling great for the last couple of days, but even in the previous matches that I played Roger, I wasn't having that much success, as you can see.
“I definitely won't blame the loss today on my medical situation, if you would call it like this. I probably would have lost anyway, but the problem was that he got an early break in both sets. Everybody knows that when Roger starts leading, he is probably the best player in the world when he's a break up early in the set. I gave it my best shot. It just didn't work today.”
Federer is bidding to lift his seventh title of 2012 and equal John McEnroe at No. 3 in the all-time title-leaders list on 77. He is now 14-7 against Top 10 opponents and 69-10 overall this year.