Federer Sets Record, Beating Tsonga for ATP Year-end Masters Win
by Staff | November 27th, 2011, 9:57 pm

When he failed to serve out the set in the second, Federer fans squirmed uncomfortably in their seats at the O2 arena and around the world, but Roger Federer in the end defeated Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France 6-3, 6-7(6), 6-3 in the final of the ATP year-end Masters event on Sunday, earning a record sixth Masters title.

“It feels very special, indeed,” said Federer, who finished the year with a 17-match winning streak. “I’ve been trying to sort of block it out for the entire tournament, the entire time I’ve been here in London.  I just tried to recuperate from Basel and Paris and hopefully get through the round robin stages. So now it’s finally sort of reality that I’ve been able to win six World Tour Finals. It’s an amazing feeling. I know it’s one of my greatest accomplishments.”

The 30-year-old Federer won his 70th career title in his 100th final, and became the oldest Masters winner, failing to drop a match all week.

Federer also beat Tsonga in the round robin portion of the event, and a week before the event in the final of the Paris Masters.

“This definitely is an amazing finish again to the season,” Federer said. “I’ve never finished so strong.”

Federer served for the title at 5-4 but quickly fell to love-40 before dropping serve. The Swiss then took a 5-2 lead in the tiebreak, and had a match point at 6-5 before Tsonga stormed back to take the set. In the third set Federer broke for 5-3 and served out the match at love.

“I thought I played well,” Federer said. “Look, I thought Jo played well. Could I have won it easier? I guess. I had it in my hands. I had a chance to go a double break in the second. I had chances to serve it out. I had chances in the tiebreaker. Yeah, it wasn’t meant to be. I had to go through the third set, which was tough, but eventually I made it, which felt probably even better going through three sets. The relief was amazing. The joy, of course, as you can imagine, was great.”

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34 Comments for Federer Sets Record, Beating Tsonga for ATP Year-end Masters Win

Tennis Vagabond Says:

Thought this was a match played at an amazingly high level. As all their matches this year. With all the headlines made by the Nole-Rafa duels this year, this new series slipped under the radar, but from Wimbledon to Montreal to Paris to here, Fed/Tsonga have provided several of the best matches this year. And what a difference in styles to that higher profile rivalry. Today was a duel to see who could get to that kill shot first, and they were not waiting. What incredible offensive, aggressive shotmaking. Among the “offensive” players, there are none with the athleticism and variety of these two. Great match.
Congrats to Federer for the mental strength to fight and fight until the opportunities came.
After a year of Novak and Rafa dominating, with Murray the supposed ascending star, these two end the year clearly playing the best tennis. Helps make for an interesting January!

skeezerweezer Says:


Totally agree in the TsongaFed matchup, Very fun to watch. Tsonga, when in the right form, can overpower Fed and push him around. Fed can do the same, but when to do it is everything. Way more fun to watch than someone ( nameless ) hit endless shots to Feds BH. Attacking tennis, and who ever has the will to attack at the right time shall win ;)

Michael Says:

Federer once again showed to the World what a true Champion he is. With the recent past experience of losing matches on the verge of winning in close memory, he managed to hide the disappointment in the second set where he had chances to go double break up. However, Tsonga despite losing his service rythm managed to hold things together and broke Federer to take it to a tie break. Even in the Tie break Federer was a break ahead only to lose the point with a double fault. Again he went a break ahead and once again gifted the point to Tsonga who won that Tie breaker. Any other player would have been demoralized especially considering Federer’s recent track record of losing matches on the verge of winning. Yet Federer hiding the disappointment produced masterly display in the third set and got the opportunity through his terrific play and made good match of it. If Federer had lost this match, things would have gone haywire for him. But what mattered in the end was he managed to emerge victorious and took home the coveted trophy thereby making a record sixth World series title. Records and Federer always sail together and he showed to the World what a tenacious player he is. Finally, my sympathies to Tsonga who had a good tournament yet failed to win. In the end his effort was not enough to dismantle Federer. Summarizing the match it seemed to me that both the players were playing much below their level and yet there was tremendous excitement in the Court.

Krishna Says:

Congrats to Federer on an unprecedented 6th WTF championship :) Really happy he kept it together after losing that 2nd set..hope he can win the Australian Open and more slams in 2012..

Gordo Says:

Congrats to Fed.

Talking about slipping under the radar, how about Canada’s 39 year old Daniel Nestor getting his 4th year end championship in doubles?

This is also a record and the most striking thing is that he got all 4 in the past 5 years, with 3 different partners –

2007 with Mark Knowles
2008 and 2010 with Nenad Zimonjic
2011 with Max Mirnyi

Congrats to the old guard of tennis; they are not about to go quietly into the night. :)

Lulu Iberica Says:

Congratulations to Federer and all his fans! He has shown what a great champion he is even at 30, and he holds so many records that are unlikely to ever be broken.

Rick Says:

If my counting is correct, a comparison of
Sampras, Federer, and Nadal at age 25 years 6 months (Nadal’s current age) finds remarkable similarity.

Grand Slams
Federer and Nadal with 10 and Sampras with 9

Tournament Wins
Federer and Nadal both won 46 times and Sampras won 45 times. Sampras was playing in a tournament that would be win number 46.

Mike Says:

last 3 tournies have been a dream for Fed, just like the old days

However i am sure when we get to the usual slow and frustrating grind of outdoor tennis next season, we will start to see Roger’s game suffer again

just a shame some GS’s wernt played Indoors huh

alison hodge Says:

fantastic news for fed and his fans,hard to believe he has not won a slam for two years,im sure he would love to remedy that at the ao,one things for sure hes in great form so what better place to start,one things for sure with fed,nole,rafa,muzza,tsonga and hopefully jmdp will make a statement,next year will be facinating to say the very least.

Dan Martin Says:

The idea of two players attacking one another is interesting. I thought Nole and Rafa played brutally awesome tennis at the USO but they may have seriously wounded each other in the process. yesterday, both guys kept points short when possible and played with a lower margin of error than Rafa or Nole.

Great win for Federer here is my take on Federer-Sampras-Lendl and the Year End Championships – http://tennisabides.com/2011/11/28/lendl-and-sampras-impact-on-federers-6-year-end-championships/

Billauchris Says:

The duel final between Tsonga and Federrer at the ATPWF London last Sunday was one of the most exciting finals I ever watched. I must congratulate both of them for giving their fans some hair-rising moments until the rubber set when RF successfully took advantage of and converted the numerous unforced errors of Tsonga to emerge a convincing winning margin of 6-3. RF fans were disappointed when he failed to win the 2nd set but nevertheless he made good in the 3rd.
With the victory at the ATPWF, RF has bcome one of the most successful tennis players in the world in terms of his fitness, endurance, patience, humility, coolness, temperament, his improved service and tenacity in facing his opponents. Besides, he is magnanimous as well as a linguist who is able to effectively relate to the French and English speaking people of the world. As such, his popularity pervades the globe and his fans just love him.

Linda Crosby Says:

So happy that Roger won. I have the game Roger played with Nadal 3 times and I am still amazed at Roger’s expertise and and versatility.

Truly remarkable.

Linda Crosby

Courtney Says:

Congratulations to Roger Federer! I was on the edge of my seat watching the match!

laslo Says:

People in Germany and France are speculating that Mirka is expecting number three.

I don’t know if this win in London will propel him in 2012. He won in London last year and it didn’t help him win a GS.

laslo Says:

Here’s one in French. Sorry I can’t translate either article. Any Canadians here that might know French?

jane Says:

laslo by the sounds of it, nothing has been confirmed. So far just rumours, although Fed has said he would like to have more children and according to the article Mirka’s belly has grown. Too many rich desserts or baby Fed #3 on the way? Guess we’ll find out. :)

Nari Antonia Says:

What a scintilating player with all the expertise of a true champion and a joy to watch !Federer you are a credit to the sport and your family…a true master with all the shots that are executed with such ease and brilliance ! Have been watching tennis for years…loved Sampras & then there was you…keep being a blessing to so many..
playing and WINNING !

jack merian Says:

How good to see Roger Federer come through to win on Sunday. He is still the man for the big occasion – just hope he can win another Grand Slam in 2012 and then call it a day. We will then remember him as the greatest ever, and I have seen them all, including the great Rod Laver and Pee Sampras.

kidane isaac Says:

i am simply so so so so Happyyyyyyy!!!!! he is the unbeatable Master of this game…. always great man Federer, Every one in East Africa loves him, always the besttttttt!!! thank you Federer!!!

Humble Rafa Says:

Mirka’s belly has grown

So has Roger’s. I wonder if both of them are on some kind of dessert only diet.

TY Says:

Would be very interesting if del potro will be fit next year to fully participate in 2012 ATP tour and would be interesting to see who will be more promnent. I reckon Tsonga will do well as he is also such a talented offensive player both BH and FH. Do not expect Murray to improve his ranking and every encounter among the top seven will be nterestng. Really need to thank Roger and Nadal to bring the tennis to higher level.

alison hodge Says:

@humble rafa so boring(YAWN).

alison hodge Says:

ty great post and as fantastic as roger is,its always nice to here other players getting the recognition that they deserve too,i agree about jmdp too and hope he can also make an impression at the slams,my only thing is like you say is his fitness,as he seems to get breathless rather easily,competition is whats great for the sport not domination,tsonga,berdych and ferrer all looked impressive at the wtf,and i wonder if sodas making a recovery after suffering with mono,whatever happens 2012 could be a very exciting and open year in terms of mens tennis,heres hopeing anyway.

andrea Says:

speaking of bellies, why is it that so many of the pro women tend to have protruding bellies? you’d think with all the core strength that they would be chiseled and tight. dinara safina was a prime example, but many others as well.

Tennis Vagabond Says:

Del Potro

These will be next years non-BigFour-party crash hopefuls. I would not be shocked to see Del Potro or Tsonga reach a GS final. The others I think might be happy to make a semi.
I don’t think any will win a Slam, but Del Potro definitely seems the likeliest of the group.

margot Says:

jane: just got back from friends/fun/food…oh and tennis ;) Just wanted to tellyou I saw Nole play Tipsy. In the first set Nole was quite brilliant, smoothly moving fron defence to offence, painting the lines, moving agilely, taking the ball early etc. At one point he hit an amazing drop volley that had us all whooping and cheering.
In the second set alas it was obvious his shoulder was really starting to bother him and his first serve speed fell right down, below 100 at times. And the rest, as they say, is history :(
Saw Fed play twice, the first time against fish he looked pretty ordinary but the second against Ferrer, who admittedly looked pretty whacked in the second set, he looked at times like the sublime Fed of old. Sometimes his shots just seemed to caress the net, to the gasps of the crowd.
However, do his fans really think he can consistently produce that magical form, really?
Tennisvagabond, can’t see four of your list making it somehow, after all tempus fugit.
But greatly looking forward to 2012 :)

Tennis Vagabond Says:

Tempus sure does fug

But these guys don’t seem to know that.

Naderer Says:

lol….Andrea @ 12h51.
Well ur observation suggests that exercising will not necessarily tighten a persons abs and all.

Dan Martin Says:

Just wanted to thank everyone for all the visits at my blog. Stop by any time.

jane Says:

margot, it sounds like you had a ffffabulous time. Your description of Nole’s tennis sounds great, although sad about the shoulder. I hope one day I can see these guys play live. Maybe this coming summer in Toronto.

dari Says:

Sounds like you and max had a FEDtastic experience at the O2, margot! Novak, too, excellent. I’ve never seen him, want to next time.
As far as the fed question, i can only speak for myself when I say I have no idea if he can be consistent, I sure will be tuning in to find out. I’ll check out what AndyM is doing while I’m at it ;)
Off to save up a million dollars to go to the O2 next year…

Michael Says:

Humble Rafa, it seems you watch many other things on the Court more than Tennis ))))))……

laslo Says:

More gossip
Novak the actor:

Novinite is reporting that Tennis star Novak Djokovic has arrived in
Bulgaria to join the cast of Expendables 2. They don’t reveal what the
role is but they do say it is only minor and won’t last more then a week
as filming in Bulgaria is set to wrap on Friday. Filming will then move
to China in January where Jet Li will finally join the cast.


KOSY Says:

…Thank You Roger for inspiring My Love for Tennis… I started watching and loved Tennis becos of U AND Am so glad that so good, U have not dissappointed me…
Hope to see more of U in Grand style next season, which am sure U will leave a landmark on…

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