Roger Federer began his title defence at the World Tour Finals on Tuesday in imperious style as he crushed Serb Janko Tipsarevic 6-3, 6-1 to set another record in a career without limits.
The Swiss, a 17-time Grand Slam champion who is bidding for a seventh career year-end trophy, now owns the most season wrap-up victories in the sport as he posted his 40th in just over an hour.
In a later match, Argentine Juan Del Potro, winner of a pair of back-to-back indoor titles last month, will face Spain’s David Ferrer, who has done the same.
Federer surpassed Ivan Lendl’s 39 year-end wins in year-end play, with his record now standing 40-7.
The Swiss will finish the season as world number two behind Novak Djokovic. The Serb hauled back the top position after Federer had taken it from him after winning his seventh Wimbledon in July.
But due to Federer’s decision to not play last week in Paris in order to rest for London, Djokovic consolidated the year-end number one which he claimed a year ago., Federer beat the less-than-perfect Tipsarevic, who came to London with a virus, with six aces, 24 winners and conversions on four of nine break points. Tipsarevic, the world number eight, never got a look at a break point against the Federer game.
The Swiss did not play Paris to heal some unspecified physical problems he was experiencing, “I’m happy that I feel fine just in time, I still had some little things I had to work through the last couple of days,” said the winner.
“I’m happy with my performance today — no pain anymore anywhere. I’m happy with my level of play today against Janko, who is obviously a good player.” The Swiss winner improved to 6-0 over Tipsarevoic, with all but one of his victories coming in straight sets.
“I’ve had a good year, I feel I’m striking the ball well after today. I hope it’s a sign for more to come hopefully.
“But I don’t want to get ahead of myself. I’m happy the first one went so well and it takes some pressure off looking ahead in the next couple matches.” Federer, who holds the all-time record of 302 weeks at world number one, stands 69-10 on the season with six titles, one less than Ferrer.