Federer to take on Tsonga in Paris final
World No 4 and third seed Roger Federer cruised past fifth seed and 2005 champion Tomas Berdych and will meet 2008 winner Jo-Wilfred Tsonga in his first BNP Paribas Masters final today.sports Updated: Nov 13, 2011 08:01 IST
World No 4 and third seed Roger Federer cruised past fifth seed and 2005 champion Tomas Berdych and will meet 2008 winner Jo-Wilfred Tsonga in his first BNP Paribas Masters final on Sunday.
Federer, who has won 801 career matches, beat Czech in straight sets 6-4, 6-3, while Frenchman Tsonga saved three match points in the third set before overpowering big-serving American John Isner in the tiebreak, 3-6, 7-6 (1), 7-6 (3).
Federer, who will be playing in his 30th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title round (17-12 overall), has become the first player to have played in the finals of all the nine Masters 1000 tournaments. However, this year he has not won even one Masters event, Serb Novak Djokovic dominating the year with five titles, Scot Andy Murray two and Spaniard Rafael Nadal one.
Tsonga played a tremendous tiebreak, winning five of the first seven points. He served brilliantly and after effecting a mini break off the first point, he had a gift coming his way when Isner double-faulted to give him three match points. A thumping forehand left the American groping at the far end after a relentless battle which lasted a shade less than three hours.
At 6-5 in the decider, Isner just could not hit a winner even off a Tsonga second serve and after the fourth deuce, Tsonga carefully crafted two good points to take the match into a tiebreak.
Tsonga was as good in the second-set tie-break and took six points in a reel to make it set each after losing the first.
Federer had no such hiccups and after Sunday's victory, the Swiss Superstar felt he was playing well.
"The way I played was really nice and then on top of that the 800th win, also my first [Paris] final and the first player to do in all the nine Masters 1000 tournaments," Federer was quoted as saying on the ATP site.
Playing Berdych for the 15th time, Federer broke the Czech straightaway to go 2-0 up. That break was enough for him to take the first set in 46 minutes, dropping only six points on serve.
It was the same story in the second set, again Federer took a 2-0 lead and gave little room for Berdych to get back into the match. The Swiss broke the Czech again in the final game to make his fifth final of the year.
Federer, 30, was streets ahead of Berdych in every aspect of the game, except in firing aces. He could hit five aces whereas Berdych struck 10.
"I thought the match was tough. I took advantage of Tomas being a touch slow maybe in the first couple of games, because once that machine is warmed up he's a very dangerous player. But I really played great today. I didn't give Tomas much. I was able to play aggressive and serve good, so it was overall a wonderful performance."
Last week, Federer won his fifth trophy at the Swiss Indoors Basel and he has a 58-12 match record this year (40-7 on hard).
Berdych, 26, drops to a 51-21 for the season.
"I would say, and I'm pretty confident to say, that that's the old Roger," said Berdych.
"You know, the years that he was really winning everything. We can count the unforced errors that he hit, like maybe, on the fingers on one hand, which is incredible. He started every set really great and just didn't give me any chance at all," he said.
First Published: Nov 13, 2011 07:59 IST