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Tennis: O2 easy as Federer sees off Tipsarevic

Published: November 7, 2012 | 6:37 am
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Roger Federer wasted little time in opening the defence of his Barclays ATP World Tour Finals crown with a 6-3 6-1 victory over Janko Tipsarevic at London’s O2 Arena.

The Swiss star is looking for a hat-trick of titles in Greenwich and a seventh at the tournament overall having set a new record with his final triumph over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 12 months ago.

Federer opted against defending his Paris Masters crown last week to prepare for London and he certainly looked sharp as he brushed aside the challenge of Tipsarevic.

The Serb did play in the French capital but retired during the third set of his clash with eventual runner-up Jerzy Janowicz because of dizziness and admitted on Monday that he was not feeling 100 per cent.

Federer took control from the off, to the delight of his many fans in the arena, breaking the Tipsarevic serve in the second game and cruising through the rest of the first set.

Tipsarevic, a direct entrant because of Rafael Nadal’s withdrawal through injury, had never beaten Federer in five previous meetings so the omens were not good.

He held serve at the start of the second set but from there the second seed did not lose a game, polishing off victory in only an hour and eight minutes.

The win also earned Federer another piece of history as it was his 40th in the competition, moving him ahead of Ivan Lendl, with whom he had jointly held the record.

Federer declared himself in good shape after his week off, which followed a final defeat by Juan Martin Del Potro in his home town of Basle.

He said: “I’m happy that I feel fine just in time. I still had some little things I had to work through the last couple of days. Really since Monday I felt fine, so obviously it was good for me to start yesterday.

“I’m happy with my performance today. I have no pain anymore anywhere. I’m happy with my level of play against Janko, who is a good player.”

As well as another record on the court, Federer also made history off the court this week when he was voted fans’ favourite in the ATP World Tour awards for a tenth straight year.

The 31-year-old credited the support he receives for his longevity, saying: “It really seems to be everywhere I go I get a lot of fan support. So for me that’s a big thrill, probably one of the reasons I’m still playing today.

“No doubt about it, they are inspiring me and motivating me to show up every day in practice, on the match courts, and give my best, because I do feel I have big support and I do feel I need to reward them for their support.”

Tipsarevic refused to blame his problems with illness for the defeat, and said: “I think Roger was just too good.

“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.

“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 but it just didn’t work.”

* Wimbledon champions Jonny Marray and Freddie Nielsen extended their winning streak in London in dramatic fashion with victory over Indian pair Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna in their opening match at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.

The British-Danish duo’s success at SW19 as wild cards was one of the most unlikely stories of the sporting year and earned them a place at the end-of-season showpiece at the O2 Arena.

They made a great start, winning the opening set, and held a match point at 6-5 in the second but Marray’s return found the top of the net.

It looked like their chance had gone when the Indians levelled the match and then took a 5-1 lead in the match tie-break but Marray and Nielsen fought back to take a 8-7 lead.

Twice Bhupathi and Bopanna held match points, at 9-8 and 10-9, but Marray and Nielsen saved them both and then took their chance, with the Dane serving it out 6-4 6-7 (1/7) 12-10.

yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk

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