Federer makes great start at ATP Tour Finals
AFP · 16 Nov 2015, 08:31
Published: 16 Nov 2015 08:31 GMT+01:00
- Federer: tennis 'could do more' against doping (14 Nov 15)
- Federer wins seventh Swiss Indoors title (01 Nov 15)
Defending champion Novak Djokovic and six-time winner Federer have dominated the prestigious season-ending event for the last decade, lifting the trophy eight times between them in the last nine years.
Federer, the oldest Tour Finals qualifier since Andre Agassi in 2005, is undeniably in the twilight of his career, yet the 34-year-old is still good enough to compete for the sport's top prizes and is in the hunt for a semi-final berth once again after easing past Berdych in 69 minutes.
To cap an enjoyable day for Federer, he was presented with an award as the fans' favourite player in 2015 and he said: "I enjoy getting awards, especially the ones that are awarded by the fans.
"I have always sought perfection. I look forward to your support next year, and the year after that, and the year after that."
Only Djokovic has won more Tour-level titles than Federer's six this year and it was the brilliant Serb who denied the world number three when they met in the Wimbledon and US Open finals.
Federer has made a habit of producing landmark achievements at the Tour Finals and, in a testament to his astonishing longevity at the highest level, this was his record 14th straight appearance at an event he has won a record six times in nine final appearances.
Berdych initially seemed capable of causing an upset when a pair of Federer double faults contributed to the Swiss being broken in the second game.
But the 17-time Grand Slam winner brushed off that sluggish opening with an immediate response as he hit back in the next game when Berdych slipped on break point.
A hard-fought set swung Federer's way when an error-strewn service game from Berdych gifted him a decisive second break at 4-4.
With the first set wrapped up, Federer tightened his grip with another break in the first game of the second set.
That effectively ended Berdych's hopes and Federer cruised to the finish line with one more break.