Federer Spanks Blake to End Year at Masters Cup



Posted on November 20, 2006


Federer Blows Out Blake to Cap 2006 at Masters Cup

Roger Federer followed his satisfying straight-set semifinal win over rival Rafael Nadal with a stunning 6-0, 6-3, 6-4 roughhousing of James Blake to close the year Sunday at the Masters Cup final in Shanghai, his third Masters Cup title in the last four years.

"It's obviously the perfect ending to an incredible season," said Federer, who ends the year with a 92-5 win-loss record and a 29-match winning streak. "There's not much more I could have done. I gave myself the best possible chance basically at every event. To come out like this, on top, I surprised even myself...I had to laugh at one stage how well I was playing, I always came up with a great answer, you know. I was in control pretty much all the time."

Federer now holds a 6-0 career record over Blake. Federer is also the first player to contest four consecutive finals at the year-end championship since Ivan Lendl, who reached a record nine consecutive finals between 1980-1988.

Also in the record books, Federer is the first player in Open Era history to record double-digit titles for three consecutive years; Federer has reached the final in 16 of 17 tournaments this year, and 22 of 23 dating to June 2005; and the Swiss is 12-4 in finals this year and 45-13 for his career, an all-time great winning percentage of 77.2 in finals.

Blake jumped from No. 7 to No. 4 in the rankings, and finishes the year with a 59-25 match record for 2006, with a career record of 8-7 in finals.

"There is nothing I could have done," Blake said of the Swiss juggernaut. "He played too good. I will probably run out of adjectives to describe him on the court. He is unbelievable, he steps it up even more in finals. I definitely think I could have played a little better, but to be perfectly honest I don't think it would have mattered today. I wish I could have done more. I wish I could have been out there longer, but what can you do?"

In the doubles final Jonas Bjorkman and Max "The Beast" Mirnyi won their first Masters Cup title as a team with a convincing 6-2, 6-4 victory over Mark Knowles and Daniel Nestor.

"I think we saved the best until last, and we couldn't have finished the year better than this way," Bjorkman said. "We just played probably the best match of the year."

Ivanisevic Edges McEnroe for Seniors Frankfurt Title
 
In a match featuring no breaks of serve, Goran Ivanisevic edged John McEnroe 7-6(12), 7-6(1) Sunday in the senior tour final at the Merrill Lynch Tour of Champions stop in Frankfurt.

"I think that was the best match that there has ever been on the Merrill Lynch Tour of Champions," said Ivanisevic, who on Saturday handed Marcelo Rios his second loss of the week, and the year. "[McEnroe] was serving great and I had to bring some huge shots to win. I played 120 percent -- if I had played 100 percent I would not have won...He's 47 and it's unbelievable how he plays. Whenever anyone asks me who is the fittest person on the Tour I always say John. He is serving faster now than in his professional career."

McEnroe said the week's results put him in good standing with only the final Blackrock Masters in London remaining.

"I was getting flashbacks to the [Bjorn] Borg tiebreak at Wimbledon in 1980," McEnroe said. "I thought it was never going to end. I had a great chance to break him in the second set, hit an almost perfect return, but it clipped the net and gave him an easy shot. We both played great and I think he was surprised at my level. It's the best I've served all year and it would be nice to end the year in style. Winning the BlackRock Masters would be beautiful."

In the 3rd/4th place playoff match, Paul Haarhuis beat Carl-Uwe Steeb 6-3, 6-3.

The title launched Ivanisevic from 10 to No. 4 on the World Senior Rankings presented by Tennis-X.com, just 55 points behind No. 3 Jim Courier, while McEnroe solidified his No. 2 position, well out of reach of Rios who is now 26-2 on the season.

WORLD SENIOR RANKINGS presented by Tennis-X.com
(through Nov. 19, 2006)

1. Marcelo Rios (2480 pts.)
2. John McEnroe (1545)
3. Jim Courier (1280)
4. Goran Ivanisevic (1225)
5T. Sergi Bruguera (990)
5T. Pat Cash (990)
7. Wayne Ferreira (980)
8. Thomas Muster (955)
9T. Todd Martin (850)
9T. Cedric Pioline (850)

The World Senior Rankings presented by Tennis-X.com is a cumulative ranking for senior tour players combining results from the Merrill Lynch Tour of Champions in Europe, and the Outback Champions Series in the U.S.

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