Paris F: Federer def Tsonga 6-1, 7-6(3) to Win First Bercy Title!

Congrats GOAT, I knew you would do it! This is for all you Fedfans who have suffered some disappointing losses this year with Roger! On days like these it’s all worth while. Roger finally bagged that elusive Paris title today and that at age 30. In doing so, he passes Andre Agassi in the amount of Masters Series titles won and is now on 18 titles, one behind Nadal. He also passed Agassi in most hard courts titles won in the open era with 47, thereby ensuring that he is the most successful hard court player in history. Click here for the list. Having won 9 slams on a hard court, he was already a more successful hard court player than Agassi though, who won 6 hard court slams. But having won the most hard court titles is a nice record to have anyway. I think it has been clear for a while now that Roger is the best hard court player in history.

Then there is two other records that he now shares with Agassi, which is that he is the only player that has won 7 of the 9 Masters Series events and the only other player who has won both the tournaments in Paris(French Open and Bercy). Another impressive record that he has now, which may not last, is that he goes up to number one in the career win/loss percentage, which is 0.827, ahead of Lendl at 0.826 and Connors at 0.825. Is there anything he hasn’t achieved yet?! As for today’s match, Roger did not play as well as he did against Berdych, but as I expected he got the job done. It was evident from the start that it wouldn’t be as clean a performance, as he went down two break points in the first game of the match. His level was still very high though as he broke Tsonga twice to breadstick him in the first set.

Roger-Federer_223075k

Poetry in motion

The second set was much more competitive. At 3-4, Roger faced a break point on his serve and was in danger of dropping the second set. Tsonga hit a down-the-line forehand that looked to be a winner, but the replay showed it was long. Roger continued to hold serve and in the next game had a break point of his own, but Tsonga saved it with good play. It would come down to a tie-break. My twitter timeline was exploding with tweets from nervous Fedfans, but I was pretty sure Roger had this one in the bag. Roger then raced to a 6-1 lead in the breaker, after which Tsonga held both serves. Roger would have two serves to seal the deal, and got it done on the first. He raised his arms triumphantly as a forehand of Tsonga sailed long. It was another very welcome title after a pretty unsuccessful year in terms of titles won. Roger now stand on 69 career titles and 802 match wins.

This is also now the highlight of Roger’s year so far, other than that epic win over Djokovic in the French Open semis. I thought from the start this is a big chance for Roger to finally win in Bercy and it was great to see him respond the way he did. Incidentally, Roger has now won 28 of his last 29 indoor matches and has won his last 16. If only the whole tour was indoors Roger would be much more successful at this point and the tennis would be easier on the eye. Isn’t it such a welcome relief to have players playing attacking, all court tennis instead of all the base line grinding of Nadal and Djokovic? Today wasn’t quite the exhibition of yesterday, but still fun to watch. After winning this title, Roger must go into London as the firm favorite now. Djokovic messed up his chances by playing Paris, Nadal has been out for some time and is an average indoor player anyway, and Murray failed in Paris.

PARIS, FRANCE - NOVEMBER 13: Roger Federer poses with his trophy after winning the 'BNP Paribas' Tennis Masters Final in Bercy at Palais Omnisports de Bercy on November 13, 2011 in Paris, France. (Photo by Eric Ryan/Getty Images)

How nice to see Roger with a trophy he has never held before!

Roger has a week off for some much-needed rest now and will come into London with all guns blazing. I expect something like last year in London. Roger’s preparation has arguably been even better this year. He could well end this year with three straight titles and make this another wondeRFul year. We know he did not win a slam this year, but it’s not like he did badly in the slams, and another Masters Cup title would help a lot to lessen our disappointment. It would also set Roger up nicely for another title run at the Australian Open next year. Concerning the Masters Cup groups, there have been groups posted on the website, but these are not the real groups. The real draw will be done on Tuesday. Either Djokovic or Nadal will be in Roger’s group. Personally I would like Nadal to be in his group so he can get another win over him for the head-to-head.

Ideally he wants to get a win over both Djokovic and Nadal while things are going in his favor. Roger has played Nadal so many times on clay that it would only be justice if he gets to play Nadal indoors again. With the win in Paris, Roger is still at number three in the rankings. I think for some reason the points for last year’s Masters Cup comes off this week, or else he might have been number three now. Anyway, I think if he wins the Masters Cup he may still end the year ranked number three.

Enjoy this win!!!

Highlights:

Interview:

Top 20 points in Paris:

NO SLEEP, NO PROBLEM FOR ROGERhttp://www.atpworldtour.com/News/Tennis/2011/11/45/Paris-Final-Federer-Early-Wake-Up-Call.aspx

Roger Federer

 

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10 Comments

  1. Nice write-up Ruan, as well as the last one re the Berdych match. Agree with you entirely on both: Berdych was Goderer in full display, while with this one it was clear from the outset that Rog was going to be a little tighter (e.g., the netted backhand in the first rally of the match) and, more generally, have a tougher time finding a groove given Tsonga’s erratic, explosive game (Berdych, Delpo and Soderling are all rather more consistent big hitters, while Jo-Willy threatens to tee off inexplicably, putting more pressure on Fed, who can at least get in some rally grooves with the others).

    Any thoughts you or others have regarding ideal London groupings for our man? I agree that it’ll be good if he’s drawn in Rafa’s group, and I’d like the other two to be Ferrer and Fish. These two will be more comfortable match-ups for Fed, allowing him to ease into a rhythm before taking on Rafa and then either of Nole or Murray or, should they emerge from their group, one of the two big hitters. Facing Tsonga or Berdych straight away again won’t be as good – Fed can handle them, sure, but they’re less suited to letting him develop a groove on his strokes and overall game.

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  2. Congrats to all Fedfans!
    Roger had a vision and a plan and he stunk to it, he never wavered for hitting the ball early moving his opponents around the court and most of the time was patient to let the point develop until he could make
    an agressive shot.
    So happy. Just LOVE Sundays like this! One more to
    finish the year Roger!!!

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  3. This is a really excellent result for Federer to save his season. I would have been happy with another QF or SF but he went a step further than I thought he would. Thank goodness that Federer finally has a Paris title. 5 Basel titles and 5 World Tour Finals titles, but no Paris. It just did not seem right for him to have never won this tournament before, because hard indoor is his most epic surface where he plays his best tennis.

    Berdych and Tsonga were playing great this week and are two of the most dangerous hard court opponents when they are on their games Berdych and Tsonga are both past champions in Paris. Quality wins for Federer. His level in the Berdych match and the first set against Tsonga is the level that Federer has to play against Djokovic and Nadal back-to-back to win another major. He’s got to do it for 3 solid sets each match and never let up at any moment. I think if Federer wins another major it will have to be back-to-back straight set victories over both Djokovic and Nadal.

    Here’s hoping his form can last until Australia which is really not all that far away. Without a doubt Federer is the greatest hard court player of all time. I’m sure he has a great chance to win the Tour Finals now with the form he is playing in. I hope he draws Nadal in his pool if the draw has not already been done yet. Fingers are crossed for London.

    Who would you guys like to see in Roger’s pool at the Tour Finals? Maybe a tougher pool would be good for Roger to keep his form up. If he draws Djokovic, Berydch, and Tsonga I was a bit worried but after the result this week I believe Roger could still make the SF even with a tough pool.

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  4. Great recap, Ru-an.

    Like you, I feel the match was a bit uneven compared to yesterday.

    What he did today was less about putting on a masterclass than playing all the important points better than his opponent: getting a quick lead, battening down the hatches to weather the inevitable onslaught of the Tsonga Tsunami, and, once the storm had passed, emerging full force in the tiebreak to finish it off.

    The first set was a combination of Federer’s aggression and Tsonga’s nerves. The second set turned into a serving contest. In order to stay alive, Tsonga racked up the ace count to keep Federer from attacking his second serve, but even he can’t keep landing that many first serves without wearing down.

    In the tiebreak, when the impact of every mistake is magnified, Federer was much cleaner and more aggressive than Tsonga.

    Masters titles don’t come quite as easy to Federer as they used to, so winning one without the loss of a set is pretty incredible. He only lost serve twice the whole tournament, and not at all from the semis onwards. If that isn’t proof of mastery, I don’t know what is. And in the bargain he beat two players who have dogged him recently, and who are former champions in Paris.

    It’s hard to see how he could top last year’s magisterial performance in London, but hopefully he can equal it, at least. I would like to see a Federer-Djokovic final and of course a victory over Nadal would be wonderful.

    On top of it all, Federer’s also a good, dutiful dad who comforts his sick daughter when she wakes up in the middle of the night. Hope he and his kids will all sleep well tonight.

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  5. I’m so happy for Roger! :-)
    Roger was attacking Tsonga’s second serve so viciously, every time Tsonga missed a 1st serve, the crowd would murmur, knowing Roger was gonna kill the next one! It caused Tsonga to make double-faults, trying to make the 2nd serve better.
    Then in the second set Tsonga served better and Roger’s 1st-serve percentage dropped. But he stayed with Tsonga and at around 5-5 started serving like a boss again! I really hope he can recover for WTF and play there like he did last year.

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  6. I agree with most of the comments made in this blog. In retrospective I think Federer played a fantastic clutch match in the second set of quarterfinal match with Monaco. I was so nervous seeing the response by Monaco but Federer found a way to win. That match must have boosted Federer’s confidence and he played so godlike with Berdych.The match with Monaco reminded me of Federer’s match with Tipsarevic at AO 2008, with Andreev at USO 2008 and Gilles Simon at AO 2011.Most of Fedfans have been talking of Federer’s inability to play clutch matches. The match with Monaco,to me, contradicts this argument.It has to be remembered that if Federer is determined, he can find ways to win.He has failed on various occasions because he does not become sure that win may be better in the long run. Case in point: the USO semifinal with Djokovic would have been different if Federer was sure that he didnot have to face Nadal in the final

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Very good point mridul. I think that match against Monaco was key. Roger was not feeling it but grinded out the win. Of course it didn’t hurt that he has been in good form of late. He struggles to grind out wins when it is not indoor and he is not on a good run.

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  7. Ruan, thanks for the post.
    this is definitely somewhat of a compensation for a bad year (in Fed’s lofty standarts), filled with matches that slipped away.
    about WTF: the best group for me would be: Fed, Djoko, Fish and Ferrer. Fed has already beaten Tsonga in their last two meetings and convincingly won against Berdych now so no need to prove a point or wear himselft down by playing them. about Djoko – when Fed is playing well and focused he can beat him no problem, which i can’t say about Rafa. Nadal posses the complete anti-Fed game and can beat him on any surface, including indoor, even when Fed’s playing well (that’s not to say Fed can’t beat him, it just very hard). also if Nadal is in Fed’s group they might meet more than once and beating him twice at the same week is a very tall order.
    about Master series: note that Fed have 18 titles but 12 of them were won before 2007, that means 6 matches were played – the top seeds didn’t get a bye at 1st round, and the final was in a best of 5 sets format… which makes everything even more impressive!

    anyhow, it would be fantastic if Fed can defend his title in London but for me what really matters is the Oz.

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  8. btw, Fed wasn’t feeling so well after the match (watch his oncourt post match interview on ATP’s website), and one of the reporters said he cought a cold.

    hope he will recover soon.

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