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Federer fights off dogged Ferrer


 

Originally published on: 22/11/10 00:21

As Roger Federer testified, the scoreline doesn’t tell the real story of his 6-1 6-4 Barclays ATP World Tour Finals victory over David Ferrer. The four-time champion dropped just five games and tops Group B tonight, but Ferrer made him earn a victory that looked early on to have been handed to him on a plate.

“I thought it was a tough match,” said Federer, who now has an 11-0 career record against Ferrer. “Looking at the scoreline, it doesn’t reflect how tough it was. There were many close games, especially in the second set.

“All in all I’m really happy with the way I was able to get out of the first match here. Starting off with a feisty top-ten player is never easy.”

That said, when Federer raced out to a 4-0 lead after just 21 minutes few could have imagined that Ferrer would take the match beyond the hour mark. In the end, however, the Spanish No.2 rediscovered his nerve, fired a barrage of forehand winners and pushed Federer to the very end of a match the Swiss will be glad to have under his belt ahead of a showdown with Andy Murray on Tuesday afternoon.

While the final score might be hard on Ferrer, Federer was good value for his early lead. The 16-time Grand Slam champion started the match in imperious form, two sumptuous drop shots completely wrong-footing Ferrer, while the recent inclination to get to the net also paid dividends.

But Ferrer broke the Federer serve to get himself on the scoreboard, and while it was too little too late to salvage the first set, the Spaniard’s forehand began firing just in time to make the second set a much more even affair.

Unable to hit through the four-time World Tour FInals champion often enough, Ferrer saw Federer break to lead early in the second set but refused to hand over a straightforward win, hitting back with two break points of his own in the very next game, both saved as Federer established a 4-2 lead.

Still Ferrer refused to lie down, bringing up three further break points as Federer served for the match. But Federer held firm, finishing the contest with an ace.

“I think I served very bad throughout the match,” said Ferrer. “This was the key. With Roger it’s impossible to take the chance if you don’t serve well. In the first set I played a little bit nervous, in the second set I improved my game, but Roger served really well when I had a chance or two.”

In the doubles, Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski provided an upset with a 6-3 7-6(3) victory over Lukas Dlouhy and Leander Paes. The Polish duo face the Bryan brothers on Tuesday after the defending champions beat Jurgen Melzer and Philipp Petzschner earlier in the day.

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