Roger Federer will aim for his 70th career trophy against a familiar face as the new number three from Switzerland plays Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in Sunday’s title match at the ATP World Tour Finals.
Winning his 16th straight match in one of Saturday’s semi-finals, Federer took out Spain’s David Ferrer 7-5, 6-3 for the 12th time, moving back to third in the rankings.
Federer will be playing in his 100th final.
He has beaten Tsonga twice in 14 days, winning the Paris title a fortnight ago over the French player and stopping the number six in a group match on November 20 in London.
Tsonga earned his place against a familiar foe with a 6-3, 7-5 defeat of Czech Tomas Berdych.
Federer and Tsonga will face off for the eighth time this season, with Federer standing 5-2 after avenging defeats at Wimbledon and Montreal.
“It’s obviously a special occasion for me tomorrow, playing my 100th final, possibly winning my 70th title, winning my sixth at the World Tour Finals,” said Federer, a 16-time Grand Slam champion.
“There’s a lot on the line, and in a way there’s not. All I can do is try to play a good match against a dangerous player. In Tsonga, we have someone who is very confident right now, has played well on the indoors. He will be extremely dangerous.” Federer was within two points of dropping the first set at 4—5 but won a nine-minute game against the gritty Ferrer and lifted his level in the second set to earn victory running away.
Federer advanced with six aces and 24 winners, committing 29 unforced errors. Ferrer, heading off to Spain for next week’s Davis Cup final against Argentina, managed just eight winners.
“It was a crucial 5-4 game for me to hold and then break the next game, and then break again early on in the second set. It was a crucial 15, 20 minutes for me. I’m happy I was able to decide the match right there,” Federer said.
“I really had to dig deep to find a way to beat David today. It’s not so easy as it might look and seem. It’s a lot of hard work. Today it was very close. Lately, our matches have all been very tough, very physical. He’s really cemented himself into the top 5.” Federer, now 63-12 on the season after claiming trophies in his last two events in Basel and Paris, dished up love games on his last two times at serve and broke Ferrer in the final game on a second match point with a forehand winner to the corner.
“I’m happy to have played so well against today,” said the finalist.
“I’m just amazed that I can reach 100 finals -- that’s not something you can plan for. I’m amazed I’m still standing and walking around normally after so many years. But I’m fit and really motivated. This really means a lot to me.” Federer ended group play undefeated for the seventh time at a year-end event and will aim for his fourth title of the season on Sunday.