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SWISS TENNIS STAR, ROGER FEDERER IS BACK ON TOP OF THE ATP
Mon, 28 Nov 2011 01:15 PM EST

Roger Federer wasn’t about to let Jo-Wilfried Tsonga pull off another improbable back from behind win.

After a year that saw some uncommon slip-ups from Federer in big tennis matches, the Swiss star shrugged off a second-set letdown to beat Tsonga 6-3, 6-7 ( 6 ), 6-3 for a record sixth title in the ATP World Tour Finals. Las Vegas odds

“I know it is one of my greatest achievements,” Federer said. “This absolutely is an amazing finish again to the season. I’ve never completed so strong.”

Federer was by miles the most provoking player this entire week at the season-ending gamefor the top 8 players internationally where his three group-stage victories included his most complete win ever over Rafael Nadal, thrashing the Spaniard 6-3, 6-0 on Tuesday.

But he looked prone to faltering against Tsonga when he did not serve out the match at 5-4 in the second set and then wasted a match point in the tiebreaker. NFL spreads

But Tsonga, who became the first player to rally from a two-set deficit to beat Federer in a Grand Slam contest in this year’s Wimbledon quarterfinals, could not pull off another surprise this time.

Playing in his Hundredth career last, Federer broke for a 5-3 lead in the decider and served out the match to like, sealing his 70th career title with a simple volley.

“I think that was the difference to other matches this year, where I lost so closely,” Federer said. “This time around I was still able to find a way thru. I believe that was the difference on occasions in the year, which didn’t perhaps make this a positively phenomenal year.”

Federer completed the season without a Grand Slam title for the first time since 2002, after also wasting a two-set lead versus Novak Djokovic in the U.S. Open semifinals — where the top-ranked Serb saved two match points in the fifth set.

Federer took a six-week break right after that — in part, he claimed, to deal with his head after those losses to Tsonga and Djokovic.

“I feel when it happens perhaps that commonly, I do have to query myself that perhaps I did something erroneous,” Federer said. “I don’t really want to say underestimate or overrate the mental part of the game, but there’s some considerable time that goes by out on tour, in a match, you are just trying to stay positive. But you can’t always be positive out there. You know, it’s simply too tough. This is where maybe the doubts were a little too robust during certain significant moments.”

The break appears to have worked, as Federer is undefeated since that U.S. Open loss, and completed the year with a 17-match winning run following titles in Basel and Paris before coming to London.

While Nadal and Djokovic both lost twice to be eliminated in the group stage, Federer played some of his best tennis of the year and defeatedDavid Ferrer in the semifinals without facing a break point.

“He’s the best player inside for the moment,” Tsonga said. “He’s perhaps the best player ever, because he is real fast. He is playing well. That’s it.”

The sell-out audience for the last included Pippa Middleton, Cristiano Ronaldo and London mayor Boris Johnson — who was at first cheered when showed on the big screen but received boos when he and his party were late to revisit their places after a changeover, holding up play as Tsonga was about to serve at 2-1 in the 3rd set.

Tsonga stated that he wasn’t worried by the interruption.

“It happens all of the time,” he announced. “That’s no problem.”

It was actually the third Sunday in a row that featured a meeting between these two players, as Federer beat Tsonga in the Paris final two weeks ago and again in their first round-robin match in London last weekend.

The third win proved the hardest for Federer.

The Swiss star looked heading straight for a fairly routine victory after breaking for a 3-2 lead in the second set, hitting a forehand return winner on the line. But he failed when serving at 5-4, going down 0-40 before Tsonga converted his third breakpoint with a volley winner.

In the tiebreaker, Federer led 5-2 and then held a match point at 6-5, but Tsonga saved it with a forehand winner before ripping a burning forehand return on his first set point to level the match at 1-1.

Federer’s victory means he excelled Ivan Lendl and Pete Sampras, who both won 5 titles at the season-ending event, previously known as the Gurus Cup.

“I still do not feel like I’m better than Pete Sampras, or Lendl for that matter,” Federer recounted. “I still believe they are ( two ) of the all time greats to play the game. I’m just delighted to be compared against them.”


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