Champion Federer floors Ferrer to reach semis at ATP finals

Story highlights

  • Roger Federer extends his winning run to 12 matches with win over David Ferrer
  • World No. 2 qualifies for semifinals at ATP's season-ending event for 10th time
  • He ends Paris and Valencia champion Ferrer's 11-match unbeaten run
  • Spaniard must now beat Janko Tipsarevic to have chance of going through

Roger Federer may have given up his No. 1 ranking, but the Swiss tennis star's grip on end-of-season supremacy is showing no signs of loosening.

Federer marched into the semifinals of the $5.5 million ATP World Tour Finals on Thursday, beating in-form Spaniard David Ferrer 6-4 7-6 (7-5) for his second successive straight-sets win in Group B.

The 31-year-old has not lost at the eight-man London showpiece since 2009, and has now won 70 matches this year -- a feat he had not achieved since 2006 when he was at the peak of his powers.

"This is a very special tournament in many ways," said Federer, who has reached the last four in 10 of his 11 appearances.

"It's always been the tournament I wanted to be part of when I started playing at the beginning of the year, many years now. I had breakthrough results at this event. I learned a lot.

"I've loved everywhere I've played over the years at the World Tour Finals. But I think this one is obviously special, because it's in London and The O2 is an amazing venue. I'm happy it's going to stay here for the next few years."

World's best tennis players face off
World's best tennis players face off


    World's best tennis players face off


World's best tennis players face off 03:36
Federer 'very proud' of silver medal
Federer 'very proud' of silver medal


    Federer 'very proud' of silver medal


Federer 'very proud' of silver medal 02:39
Federer reflects on Wimbledon win
Federer reflects on Wimbledon win


    Federer reflects on Wimbledon win


Federer reflects on Wimbledon win 04:11
2009: Roger Federer gets the giggles
roger federer giggles interview pedro pinto


    2009: Roger Federer gets the giggles


2009: Roger Federer gets the giggles 04:43

The 17-time grand slam champion relinquished the year-end top spot to Novak Djokovic when he decided not to defend his Paris title last week, having pushed his record tally to 302 weeks at the top.

Fifth-ranked Ferrer took advantage of a weakened field and shock defeats for Djokovic and No. 3 Andy Murray by winning his first Masters level tournament, following up his title in Valencia.

However, the 30-year-old had never beaten Federer in 13 previous attempts, winning just three of 30 sets played -- including defeat to Federer in the 2007 final of the elite event when it was held in Shanghai.

That run continued on Thursday after Ferrer failed to covert three break points on Federer's serve in the opening game.

Djokovic edges Murray at ATP finals

"It was a long match and I'm extremely happy to win," Federer said after ending Ferrer's 11-match unbeaten run.

"I played a great match. I've qualified and I'm obviously relieved and thrilled that that's the case.

"David's been on a great run and he is so respected by his fellow competitors. I enjoy playing against him, not because I've got a good record, but because he's a great guy and a great competitor."

Federer now has a 102-1 record against players aged over 30 since his 2002 defeat by Andre Agassi in the final of the Miami Masters.

If he retains his title, extending his record to seven overall in the indoor hard-court event, he will match third-placed John McEnroe on the ATP's career title list with 77.

Ferrer has won an ATP Tour-leading 73 matches this year, one more than Djokovic -- who will seek to clinch his semi spot in his third and final closing Group A match against sixth-ranked Czech Tomas Berdych on Friday.

Ferrer, who also has a tour-leading seven titles in 2012, must now beat Janko Tipsarevic if he is to emulate last year's achievement of reaching the semifinals in London.

"I had a lot of chances to break his serve," Ferrer said of his latest Federer defeat. "When he had one break point, he made it.

"Sometimes with these players, if I don't take my chances, I don't win the important points -- it is very difficult to win."

Ferrer is fighting for a semifinal place with Juan Martin del Potro, who beat Tipsarevic 6-0 6-4 in Thursday's late match to end the Serbian's hopes.

The Argentine now also has one win and a defeat ahead of his final match against Federer, but has the advantage over Ferrer in sets and games won.

Del Potro beat Federer in last month's Basel final but has a losing 13-3 record against him despite notable victories in the 2009 U.S. Open title match and in the round-robin stage of that year's ATP finals.


    • Rafael Nadal of Spain watches the ball in his match against Martin Klizan of Slovakia during during day seven of the China Open at the National Tennis Center on October 3, 2014 in Beijing, China.

      What does 2015 hold for Rafa?

      Rafael Nadal's body might be giving him a few problems, but his mind remains as strong as ever. Will the Spaniard add to his haul of 14 grand slam titles?
    • LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 17: Wimbledon champion Andy Murray and his long time girlfriend Kim Sears arrive at Buckingham Palace on October 17, in London, England. Murray will become an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) and receive his medal from the Duke of Cambridge. (Photo by John Stillwell - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

      Love game: Andy Murray to tie knot

      The Scot has served up a few changes to his support team in 2014 but there's one person who isn't going anywhere -- his new fiancée Kim Sears.
    • Despite being forced to retire at the age of 24 due to health problems, Lacoste remained in the game and went on start the "Lacoste" brand in 1933, which specialised in tennis products. The inspiration for the company's logo came from his nickname as a player, "le crocodile."

      'Crocodile' who broke all the rules

      His distinctive crocodile logo is seen on clothing all over the world, but Rene Lacoste also left a lasting legacy in the development of tennis.
    • Serena Williams of the US holds the US Open trophy after defeating Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark during their US Open 2014 women's singles finals match at the USTA Billie Jean King National Center September 7, 2014 in New York. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

      Serena savors U.S. Open win

      Serena Williams is without peer in the modern women's game and now she is on a par with two American tennis legends from the past.
    • American tennis player and golfer Althea Gibson (right) receives a kiss from compatriot Darlene Hard, whom she beat in two sets to become the first black woman to win the Women's Singles Finals at Wimbledon.

      The amazing life of Althea Gibson

      Over the course of her remarkable life, Althea Gibson was many things to many people -- but it was tennis where she really left her mark.
    • Courting couple at match point

      "I didn't cry once when I practiced in front of the mirror," says Martin Emmrich. But the nerves kicked in when he got down on one knee on court.
    • LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 03: Tennis / Frauen: Wimbledon 2004, London; Finale; Siegerin Maria SHARAPOVA / RUS 03.07.04. (Photo by Bongarts/Bongarts/Getty Images)

      'Baby' Sharapova's big moment

      It's 10 years since a teenage Maria Sharapova became the darling of Wimbledon's hallowed Center Court, launching herself as a star.
    • 'Swiss Miss' follows mom's lead

      Five-time grand slam champion Martina Hingis has followed her mom into a coaching role, setting up a new tennis academy in Barcelona, Spain.