Swiss great Roger Federer started his bid for a seventh ATP Tour Finals title in record-breaking style with a crushing 6-3, 6-1 win over Janko Tipsarevic at London’s O2 Arena yesterday.
Federer’s victory took him to 40 match wins in his 11 appearances at the prestigious season-ending event, breaking the previous record of 39 held by Ivan Lendl.
The 31-year-old already has a record six titles in this season-ending event after winning the tournament for the last two years and he looks in the mood to complete a hat-trick on the evidence of this emphatic Group B victory over the Serbian eighth seed in just one hour and eight minutes.
“I’m very happy I played so well because Janko’s a great player,” Federer said. “I’ve had a great year but I hope it’s not over yet.
“It’s my third trip to London this year. The other two were pretty good and I hope something similar is going to happen this week.”
Earlier, Federer was voted ATP fans’ favourite for a record 10th season in a row. He won via an online poll claiming a massive 57 per cent votes, ahead of Britain’s Andy Murray.
He also claimed the Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award — voted for by his fellow players — for the eighth time.
On Monday, Novak Djokovic celebrated his return to the top of the world rankings with a 7-6 (7/4), 6-3 victory over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, while Murray defeated Czech fifth seed Tomas Berdych 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.
Bopanna-Bhupathi lose opening tie
Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna suffered a disappointing start to their ATP Tour Finals doubles campaign as the Indian duo were beaten 6-4, 6-7 (1/7) 12/10 by Jonathan Marray and Frederik Nielsen in a Group B tie yesterday. Bhupathi and Bopanna arrived at London’s O2 Arena in a rich vein of form after winning the Paris Masters double crown last week, but they were unable to maintain that good run against the reigning Wimbledon doubles champions. The Indian pair, seeded fifth, were making their first appearance together at the season-ending event, although Bhupathi had qualified on 11 previous occasions with three different partners, and they will have to win their last two matches to keep alive their hopes of reaching the semi-finals.