Majestic Federer cruises to victory
London, November 6, 0212, Agencies: 23:46 IST
Djokovic scrapes past Frenchman Tsonga
Roger Federer chalked up yet another record when victory over Janko Tipsarevic at the ATP World Tour Finals on Tuesday put him top of the list for match wins at the traditional season-ender.
The 17-times Grand Slam champion cruised to a 6-3, 6-1 victory over the Serbian world number nine, taking his haul of victims in the event to 40, one more than Ivan Lendl.
Federer, who has won the title a record six times including the last two editions at London's O2 Arena, seized the initiative when he broke Tipsarevic's first service game and never looked like loosening his grip in a one-sided contest. Tipsarevic, who pulled out of his match at the Paris Masters last week because of illness, qualified for the eight-man tournament as a result of Rafa Nadal's continuing injury woes.
He never looked like recording a first career victory over the Swiss, however, and despite offering dogged resistance there was an air of predictability about the contest.
Federer pounced again to break for a 2-1 lead in the second set and galloped away to victory in little more than an hour.
In Group A, world number one Novak Djokovic and US Open champion Andy Murray won their opening matches on Monday.
The top two players from each group go through to Sunday's semifinals.
World number one Djokovic also had to contend with some blistering firepower from free-wheeling Frenchman Tsonga before registering a 7-6, 6-3 victory to move top of Group A.
Djokovic and Murray will face each other in the latest installment of their rivalry on Wednesday when the winner will take a huge stride towards the semifinals of the year-ender.
It could be an intriguing clash between two in-form players and a continuation of their recent rivalry for supremacy that started with the US Open final a couple of months ago.
The Scott had defeated his Serbian opponent to end his long wait for a Grand Slam title, and an even longer wait of Great Britain for a Grand Slam winner, more than seven decade long wait at that. The last British Grand Slam champion was Fred Perry, who achieved the feat in the 1930s.
Djokovic admitted he was second-best during the first set against Tsonga when he saved break points at 3-3 and 5-5 and never threatened the Frenchman's delivery.
However, the Serb, guaranteed to end the year as No 1 for the second time in a row, showed his usual doggedness to hang on before an immaculate tiebreak sealed the opening set and Tsonga's resistance quickly crumbled.
"To be honest, he was the better player throughout the first set," Djokovic told reporters.
"I managed to stay mentally tough and fight my way through,’’ he added.
The Indian pair of Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna squandered two match points before losing its first match of the World Tour Finals against Jonathan Marray and Frederik Nielsen on Tuesday.
The Indians, making their debut as a pair in the elite season-ending event, lost their Group B match 4-6, 7-6(1), 10-12 against the British-Denmark combination in one hour and 36 minutes.
Bhupathi and Bopanna are coming into the tournament after winning the Paris Masters last week. The fifth seed Indian pair will now have to win the last two Group B matches to keep themselves in the semifinal hunt.