Roger Federer put on a sparkling performance crushing rival Rafael Nadal 6-3, 6-0 during round robin play Tuesday at the ATP World Tour Finals.
Federer was never threatened during the 61 minute affair, breaking Nadal four times and running away with the last seven games to hand Nadal his worst career loss to the Swiss.
“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.”
Federer never faced a break point and finished with 28 winners to Nadal’s four.
“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.”
Nadal still leads Federer 17-9 in their historic rivalry, but indoors Roger’s been dominant winning all four encounters including the championship match at the Finals a year ago.
The win sends 2-0 Federer into the semifinals while Nadal will play Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Wednesday for a spot in the final four.
“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.”
In the first match of the day Tsonga eased past Mardy Fish 7-5, 6-1.
“It’s really good to win for the first time here,” said Tsonga. “Today I started better, even if he broke me back in the first. But I played well today. I have felt really good on the court. When I’m very aggressive and I put lot of pressure on my opponent, I’m able to play with everybody.”
The loss eliminates Fish from the competition but could play the role of spoiler against Federer on Thursday.
Tomorrow, Novak Djokovic meets David Ferrer while Tomas Berdych battles Janko Tipsarevic who replaced Andy Murray in the field.
Murray withdrew from the tournament Tuesday due to a groin strain he sustained just after Paris.
“It’s just a really difficult decision to make because it’s one of the best tournaments in the year to play and it’s something that you also work all year to play here, as well,” Murray said.
“There was no real positive sort of coming out and playing because yesterday I was really unhappy on the court,” he added. “I wasn’t enjoying it at all. This is one of the best tournaments in the year, one that I think me and all of the players look forward to playing. I couldn’t give anywhere near my best, so that’s what was disappointing. It would probably do myself more damage by playing than not.”
The Serbs hold the edge on Wednesday in Group A competition. Tipsarevic has won four of five meetings with Berdych and Djokovic leads Ferrer 5-1 on hardcourts, 6-4 overall.
If Djokovic beats Ferrer he’ll qualify for the semifinals. If Ferrer beats Novak in straight sets he’ll do the same.
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