Federer holds off Tsonga to retain ATP title

LONDON, (Reuters) – Roger Federer became the  first player to win the ATP World Tour Finals six times after  weathering a storming fightback by Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to retain  his title with a 6-3 6-7 6-3 victory at the O2 today.
The 30-year-old, playing in the title match of the  tournament for the seventh time in 10 years and his 100th Tour  final, faltered when serving for the match at 5-4 in the second  set and let a match point slip in the tiebreak.
Powerhouse Tsonga threw everything at Federer in the  deciding set but he dropped serve at 3-4 and this time there was  no escape for the crowd-pleasing Frenchman as the Swiss  completed victory in two hours 18 minutes.
“I couldn’t be more happy and I couldn’t be more exhausted  because Jo sucked all the last energy out of me today,” Federer  said on court after sealing the $1.63 million jackpot for going  through the tournament undefeated.
On another record-breaking day for the 16-times grand slam  champion, Federer gained the distinction of being the oldest  player to win the season-ender since Ilie Nastase in 1975.
Despite not winning a grand slam title in a year for the  first time since 2002, he also made sure he ended the season on  a high with a 17-match winning streak and a hat-trick of indoor  titles having won the recent tournaments in Basel and Paris.
Federer beat Tsonga in the opening round-robin match of the  tournament and prevailed against the 26-year-old the week before  in the Paris Masters final.
Tsonga, bidding to become the first Frenchman to win the  season-ending championship since its inception in 1970, began in  impressive fashion, though, and looked the more menacing player  until Federer broke serve to love in the eighth game.
Federer grabbed an early break in the second set and looked  poised for his 70th tour title when he served for the match at  5-4, only for Tsonga to produce some fireworks and level at 5-5.
An edgy Federer then squandered a 5-2 lead in the tiebreak  and failed to convert his first match point at 6-5 when Tsonga  belted a forehand down the line.
Tsonga then earned a set point and climbed all over a short  Federer second serve to thrash another forehand deep into the  corner which barely gave his opponent a chance to move.
Federer kept his nose in front in the deciding set despite  some ferocious hitting from Tsonga and when the chance to seal  the match presented itself again he made no mistake.

Around the Web