Federer, playing in his 100th career final, held off a spirited Frenchman in Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Sunday at the O2 Arena. It was the eighth meeting between the two in 2011, with Federer having the 6-2 record to show for it. Tsonga, always a dangerous opponent, looked comfortable and ready to turn his previous fortunes vs Federer. The two had played one week earlier, with Federer winning in 3 sets in round robin play.
Going the distance did not look plausible today, until Tsonga began playing even more aggressive than his typical attacking style. Federer played three spectacular points, highlighted by backhand winners, to break Tsonga for 5-3 in the first set. He served out the set 6-3, and both players held serve into the second set. It was then, that Federer broke and would be serving for the championship, at 5-4.
Tsonga had other plans. The Frenchman broke the Swiss maestro to even the score at 5-all. The set continued into a tiebreak, where Federer would have one championship point on the Tsonga serve. Quickly erased, Tsonga went on the offensive, and sealed the second set to his favor, 7-6 (6).
From there, Federer would be tested severely. However, the Swiss maestro made well with keeping up, predominantly off only his second serve. At 4-3 again, Federer broke the Tsonga serve, letting out a roar, signaling the end was near. Surely this time, it was over. Federer calmly served it out, finishing with a smash at the net. Final score, 6-3 6-7 (6) 6-3, in 2 hours 19 minutes.
Arms raised, Federer screamed with emotion, and rightfully so. He had just broken more records in tennis history. The Swiss maestro has now won the ATP Finals for a record 6th time, breaking the previous record shared between himself, Pete Sampras, and Ivan Lendl. The title marked the 70th of his career, in his 100th career final. Now with 807 career wins, Federer passes idol Stefan Edberg for 6th most wins on the all time list.
Federer spoke to the crowd on court in the trophy ceremony. “I couldn’t be more happy. I couldn’t be more exhausted,” Federer told the crowd at the O2 Arena after being presented with the trophy for the second year in a row. “Jo sucked every last bit of energy out of me today.”
Federer finishes 2011 at #3, with a 64-12 record and a 17 match win streak. He is the oldest winner of the ATP finals, and has tied Ivan Lendl (39-10) with most wins at the event. Federer is now with 6 titles, and a 39-7 record. More history to rewrite, Federer has now went undefeated in five of his six titles (2003, 2004, 2006, 2010, 2011). The only title he was not undefeated in winning the title was 2007.
This video is insightful, and remarkable. Follow Federer on his post-match media commitments and enjoy his natural humor along the way.
Federer now heads into the off season with a well deserved break from the tour. Tennis resumes in 2012, where Federer will begin his season in Doha (January 1-7). Stay tuned for periodical Federer happenings until then. Thank you for a great season, a great year, and all of the feedback and support. Your enthusiasm and passion make running FedererFan07 a great pleasure. I look forward to 2012 for tennis, and of course, Federer holding more trophies.
P.S. I am traveling to the east coast in the United States in late December. I will be in the Washington D.C area. If you are from the area or live around Maryland and Washington D.C.,