ROGER FEDERER RACED to one of his easiest wins over rival Rafael Nadal this evening, routing the Spaniard 6-3 6-0 to earn a semifinal berth at the ATP World Tour Finals.
From 3-2 in the first set, Federer ran away with it and not even Nadal’s trademark defensive abilities could handle the pace and accuracy of the 16-time Grand Slam champion’s forehand.
The 26th match between the former number ones was over in exactly one hour. Federer finished with 28 winners to Nadal’s four.
“I’ve definitely seen Rafa play better, but I’ve also definitely played worse,” Federer said in an interview on court.
With one match to play in Group B, Federer is assured of a place in the semifinals as he targets a record sixth title at the season-ending event.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga earlier kept alive his hopes of reaching the last four by beating Mardy Fish of the United States 7-6 6-1. Federer’s win means Fish cannot advance.
The winner of the match between Tsonga and Nadal will claim the other semifinal place from Group B.
The 30-year-old Federer extended his winning streak to 14 matches following titles in Basel and Paris in the run-up to the ATP Finals. He underlined his status as the top player in London with a dominating performance against Nadal, who lost 10 of the last 11 games.
Federer trails 17-9 in the head-to-head series, but has won all four of their matches indoors.
“Clay goes his way,” Federer said. “At least I have one surface that goes my way.”
– Caroline Cheese