3rd seeded Roger Federer moved to 1-0 in the Stan Smith Group as he swiftly got past Czech Tomas Berdych 6-4, 6-2 in 70 minutes. With the victory, the swiss right hander extended his head to head advantage over the Czech to 15-6.
Federer Claims 1st Set
Proceedings got started at the O2 Arena with the 6th seed starting out on serve. He came out firing with precise out wide serves forcing Federer off the court. The Czech gained an early 1-0 lead with the hold of serve. The world number 3 was not comfortable at the start of serve as was not efficient. His offensive play was matched by Berdych's defensive prowess. With a rare double fault, the world number 6 gained 3 break point opportunities. After pressure was put on the Swiss, he eventually forced the world number 3 into an unwanted error into the net to gain an important 2-0 lead. Immediately after the new found momentum, the 6-time ATP World Tour Finals titlist was not discouraged. Off of great shots and focus the break was easily taken back. Federer then brought things back even off a love hold of serve. Once back even, at 2-2, both players continued to exchange holds of serve until it became 4-all. Fans were excited in the stadium packed O2 Arena as the 1st set appeared to be close. One of the commentators said, "There’s not an empty seat in the house." In front of the packed crowd, Federer made his move in the next game on return. The Swiss maestro took advantage of poor shaky play from his 30-year-old opponent. After multiple unforced errors, Berdych handed over the break and a chance to close out the 1st set for the world number 3. As the next game got underway, Federer paced around the baseline. After a few aces and brilliant 2nd serves, he closed out the 1st set in impressive fashion, 6-4.
Cruise Control for the 6 time year end titlist
The 1st game of the 2nd set was filled with great play. The 30-year-old started on serving trying to assert himself with aggressive tennis but Federer did not budge by digging in defensively and hitting a great lob. The best point of the match was played as the two traded blows ending in the 3rd seeds favor. He then grabbed the break and a 1-0 lead. Federer did not look back as he carried momentum with a hold of serve and then a pivotal 2nd break in a close game going to deuce. The 3-0 lead then turned to a 4-0 lead as the 34-year-old held easily at love. The start of the 5th game opened with an amazing hot shot from Federer as he carved out a beautiful drop shot leaving the tall Czech running late to it. Berdych then showed fight, hitting motivated shots to finally get on the board in the 2nd set. The fight from the Czech continued on to the return game, as he reached a predictable drop shot eventually winning the point. Even with the effort it would not be enough, the 34 year old held on to make it 5-1. The 30 year old made Federer close the match out as he easily held off a blistering forehand. A small blemish in the last game came off a double fault to start out. Federer then made easy work on serve to close out the match in consistent fashion, 6-4 6-2.
Factors of the match
The impressive win was thanks to an efficient 85% of points won on the 1st service. Federer only faced 1 break point the whole match. A great 4-6 of break points won for the Swiss right hander was enough to get him over the finish line. He will have to continue his impressive run of play when he goes up against his rival Novak Djokovic in round robin play.