Roger Federer fought off a determined Mardy Fish to extend his unbeaten run to 15 matches at the ATP World Tour Finals in London on Thursday.
In a meeting of the oldest two singles players in the field, it was the 30-year-old Federer who emerged triumphant, the defending champion needing three sets to navigate his way to a 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 victory.
Federer, who is chasing a record sixth title at the year-end championships, looked in superb form as he crushed rival Rafael Nadal on Tuesday, and the world No. 4 oozed confidence as he raced through his opening service game with terrifying efficiency.
Federer had already qualified for the knockout stages with a match to spare, while Fish had no chance of reaching the last four. With the match essentially a dead rubber, Federer was clearly in no mood to hang around as he grabbed an early break. Fish battled valiantly.
If Federer intended to conserve energy ahead of Saturday’s semi-finals, Fish had other ideas. The American was desperate to make his final match of the season last longer than an hour.