Federer won his 6th WTF, defeating Tsonga 6-3 6-7 6-3 in the final. With this win, Federer sets a new record for most WTFs won, surpassing five-time winners Ivan Lendl and Pete Sampras. This is his 70th title in 100 finals and he finishes the year with a year-end ranking of 3. He finishes his season with an undefeated streak following the USO.
Fed was broken serving for the match in the 2nd set and failed to convert a MP on Tsonga’s serve in the 2nd set TB. When Fed lost the 2nd set, the spectre of his losses against Tsonga at Wimby and Novak at USO hung over him.
But hey, no one hands Fed his second defeat in a year from MP down, right? Although his 1st serve was absent, Fed’s momentum didn’t wane too much and he hung on to break Tsonga in the 3rd. Then, he masterfully closed out the match, showing a firm resolve that was absent on his first attempt. This was a nice hurdle for Fed to overcome–he ground out a win taking the less scenic route. Previously, it’s seemed like Fed either easily outclassed his opponents or he faded away in a tough match. This is a memorable match for him, given he overcame a tough mid-match hurdle to take the win for a big title. In spite of the mixed bag of RR matches this year, the final was a worthy spectacle.
Fed gave a gracious presser, where he complimented his rivals Djokovic, Nadal, and Murray. Some of the highlights from the presser:
- Fed says he regrets this year’s loss in the Roland Garros final more than he does the USO SF loss. This makes sense, given his number of Roland Garros titles (1) is fewer than his USO titles (5). Also, at this point, the primacy of his rivalry with Rafa overshadows any rivalry with Djokovic.
- “Everyone said best of three sets. I was the only guy that said, I think we should have best of five sets.” Fed is in favor of going back to a best-of-5 set format for the finals at the WTF. He’s old-school and still maddeningly fit.
- “I think for me, most important is the reaction I show after losses like this.” Fed reflects on bouncing back from his disappointing loss to Djokovic at the USO SF this year. Though he finishes the year without a Grand Slam, this year-end finish has been most impressive and history-making.
Tweets from the sidelines:
Tsonga takes a pre-match nap in his private lockerroom (with 2 guards standing by), Gael logs on to cheer for Joooooo, and DelPo makes a timely re-appearance on Twitter to congratulate Roger.
Lastly, here’s a video clip of an amazing point in the 1st set of the Fed-Tsonga match. It includes amazing vollies and scrambling, ending with Fed earning 3 BPs on Tsonga’s serve.