It was the day of the legends at the ATP World Tour Finals today. Two greats of the sport reached important title milestones, in both singles and doubles, and Roger Federer and Daniel Nestor, in their own ways, made this last day pretty memorable.
75 it is for Nestor
To start finals day, Max Mirnyi and Daniel Nestor were facing the US Open finalists, the Polish team of Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski, to try and get their hands on the doubles title. A very tight first set that almost turned bad for Mirnyi and Nestor, as Fyrstenberg and Matkowski broke them early, but is was short-lived, Mirnyi and Nestor breaking right back.
I really thought the first set would go into a tiebreak as both teams started playing and serving incredibly, but it was not to be. Mirnyi and Nestor broke in extremis and took the first set, 7-5.
They were not bothered anymore after that. Breaking early in the second, they quickly made their way to a 7-5 6-3 victory.
This title is the 75th of Daniel Nestor’s fantastic career, his second consecutive ATP WTF title, and his career fourth (2007 with Mark Knowles and 2008 and 2010 with Nenad Zimonjic). It is also Mirnyi and Nestor’s fourth title this year (Memphis, Roland Garros and Shanghai). This win also makes the team finish the year just behind Bob and Mike Bryan, at joint no 3.
As for Max Mirnyi, he won today his 41st doubles career title and his second ATP WTF (2006 with Jonas Bjorkman).
Not bad for men over 30, no? Daniel Nestor will turn 40 next year and shows no signs of slowing down. I’m really looking forward to see what they will do next year. As for Fyrstenberg and Matkowski, with a Grand Slam final and the ATP WTF final, they showed that they’re not to be neglected and I really hope that they will be able to win a major next year.
100, 70, 6, 17, Federer in numbers
Today was Roger Federer’s 100th career final. He was facing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who was playing… his 12th. But what a final these two gave us! Federer as well as Tsonga gave all they had in order to clinch the win, even though the first set and a half let us think that Federer would win this in straights.
It was, however, a pretty nervous start on both sides, but even though he did not serve at his best during the first set, Federer took advantage of a poor service game from Tsonga, which turned out to be a very good return game from the Swiss, to break at the opportune time and, with difficulty, close it out, 6-3.
During the second set, we have seen the Federer of the first matches… until, up 5-4 with a break, he served for the match. Nervous, erratic, his first serve all but gone on vacation before time (a bit normal when you’re serving for a record, no?), Federer allowed three break-back points, saved two, but Tsonga capitalized on the third. Back on serve, the Frenchman had wings until the end of the set, which he won 7-6(6), not without Federer serving again for the match at 5-4 and a mini break up on his serve in the tiebreak, then having match point on Tsonga’s serve at 6-5.
The final set was really a nerve battle between the two finalists, as well as very nerve-racking for the fans watching the match with a partisan eye. However, at the end of an interminable service game, Federer broke Tsonga’s serve and, this time, he didn’t miss his chance, serving brilliantly to win 6-3 6-7(6) 6-3.
In so doing, Roger Federer’s 17th consecutive win made him pass Ivan Lendl and Pete Sampras with a record 6 ATP WTF titles, and earned him a 70th career title for his 100th final. Federer is also unbeaten on indoor surfaces since that loss to Gaël Monfils at the Paris Masters 1000 last year.
An excellent year-end for the Swiss, who took back the World no 3 ranking by reaching the final yesterday, showing that he hasn’t yet said his last word on Tour. Nevertheless, hats off to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who, again, played fantastic tennis and who will definitely be one of the men to look out for next year.
In David Cup mode
Now that the ATP World Tour Finals are over, the blog falls, for the last week of the season, in Davis Cup mode, as Spain and Argentina will face each other starting this Friday. Lots of things coming up, including special treats, predictions and match commentary. There will also be a special Davis Cup link section, right below the photo of the Champion of the Week.