Day 1: Federer v Tsonga Tennis: World Tour Finals

Day 1: Federer v Tsonga

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This is day one of the season ending showdown in men's tennis.


Only the top eight up in London for We have travelled vast distances to


be here. Across continents we have risen to every challenge. After the


glory of the Grand Slams... magic of the Masters 1000s...


the triumphs of the day... And now London is calling. Many began, just


a few remain. To be the last man standing... Wouldn't that be


something! Just one question A very good afternoon to you from


the O2. These World Tour finals are a fantastic end-of-season finale.


It is only the top eight players who are here. It is across all


tournaments, including the four Grand Slams and the nine Masters


tournaments. The eight players are split into two round-robin groups.


The winners and runners up from those round-robin groups go through


to the semi-final and a final. All will become clear. They could be


some mathematics, we will see. Tim Henman is with me in the studio.


You were part of this twice. What does it feel like from the


perspective of a player? It is a fantastic achievement and fantastic


reflection on your performance of that given here. There are no two


ways of qualifying, no while cars - - wild cards. It is what he set out


for at the beginning of the year. Behind us is a doubles match. The


doubles guys have just finished. Max Mirnyi and Max Napster have


finished. -- Daniel Nestor have finished. They beat the Indian pair.


Next up is Roger Federer against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. They're a two


of the most exciting players. Roger has to be favoured to win this one,


doesn't he? It is an uncomfortable match for him. Some there is so


powerful and so athletic. A lot of the time you feel that Roger can


dictate the outcome. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga has showed on a couple of


occasions that he is dangerous. Reflecting on the match at


Wimbledon, he was able to come out on top. Roger is down to at No.


Four in the world at the moment. He is five-times champion. He is in


Group B at the moment. This is the group the matches come from today.


Tomorrow it is Murray at 2pm. The Top Frenchman is world No. 6. Later


on it is Nadal up against Fish. They're in the same group.


Congratulations to Mardy Fish. It is his first time at the World Tour


is his first time at the World Tour finals. It is a great achievement.


He has come in towards the latter end of his career. He is 30 years


of age. It is a great reflection of how consistent he has played. He


had a lot of success on a hard court in America. He has had a few


injuries but hopefully he has had a chance to recover. Later on this


week we will be watching the Dom against Federer. This is the other


group. -- Nadal. Andy Murray has just gone up to world No. 3. I must


tell you that Murray, the only winning record he has against any


of those players, is against Ferrer. We will kick it off tomorrow


afternoon with Murray against Ferrer. Roger Federer has had so


many career years. He has had so many years where he has lit up the


World of Tennis. This year people are talking about him being average


- somehow mediocre. I do not think he sees it that way. Not at all. He


set the bar so high. He has lost a couple of those matches where he


has won them in the past. At Wimbledon he was up two sets to


left. Against never Djokovic he had two match points in of this set. He


has had a few tough losses. -- the 5th set. A lot of people would take


his year. World ranking number four. He has spent so young -- so long in


the top two. He comes in as five- times champion with something to


It has been a tough year. I have had some brutal losses. I felt my


game was good enough to do some serious damage and to win some of


the biggest titles. Maybe I did not win momentum. I was never allowed


to do that. I made mistakes. Novak Djokovic played an amazing season.


Considering, I think I did really well. Maybe it does not reflect


sometimes. He does not have a lot to prove. Roger does not play for


records. He did not know he won his eight and Rick's career match. --


800th. With a player like Roger, it is inevitable you're going to be


breaking records along the way. He has had 59 victories the Shia and


no losses. People are trying to question his levels. -- this year.


Golfers always say, when they could have scored better, which is just


about every single time, as you well know. They always say when


they come off the course, they could have been two or three shots


lower. Federer has had one up of those years. He left a few matches


out there. He has done such a good job of winning those in the big


matches, in the big tournaments. This year, the semi-finals of the


US opens to have two match points on his serve when Djokovic hit that


incredible return. I think his performance in the last couple of


weeks, indoors he won in Basel, he won the Masters Open in Paris. He


will be ready to go. He knows what he is facing in Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.


He can force the match. He can almost blow you off the court and


there is nothing you can do. This is his year. He has risen to No. 6


in the world, based on his It has been a very good year.


Indoors, dust recently, he has won. You are not the new boy it anymore,


so you are not so nervous question I am really happy to be here.


nervous? It was difficult to qualify this year. I have done a


great job since the beginning of the year. I'm happy to play here. I


will enjoy this moment for sure. Getting into the top eight, it is


very difficult. What does it mean to you? It is really good. When you


finish in the top eight, it is because you made a lot of


sacrifices. You practise a lot and you play well. We are looking


forward to seeing that celebration dance this week. Why did you start


doing that? I started doing that because come at the first time I


entered into the top 100, I plays. I've played against Lleyton Hewitt


to enter the world top 100. I won this match. At the end of this


match, I decided to do this, I do not know why. The English crowd


loves it. I thought, OK, the English crowd loves it, everyone


will love it. You have a tough group. It will always be difficult.


You have beaten Federer and Nadal this year. You must think you can


beat them again. I have already beaten them this year. I expect to


win some matches, of course. He has an absolutely charming smile and


man about him. To actually play against him, what is it like to


feel the force of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga coming at you? It is an


intimidating force. He is so athletic come up so physical. Some


of the technical aspects of his game, you would not say they are so


sound. Because he is athletic, he can get away with it. He can


generate enough power on the court. He has been likened to Muhammad Ali,


certainly in terms of physical stature of, he has it. The


introductions are about to be made at the O2. He does not like to be


too structured about the way he plays well stuck he likes to let it


blow and see what comes out of his racket. -- he plays. He can blow


Federer off the court. Unlikely, but he is capable. This apposite is


right up his street. -- atmosphere. Two groups of four. This is the


first singles match at the Buckley's ATP World Tour finals. It


is a superb 17th 1500 seat arena for these players, as they make


their way through to the curtains, where they will be held before


being introduced to the crowd. It is beautifully staged we are glad


it is in England's capital city. You can see from the smiles on the


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players' faces, how much they Looking typically overwrought,


Roger Federer. The Panther takes to the court at the O2. I swear he'd


just strolls a little bit slower, year by year. He has done it all


the 4th. Earlier on this week, he was practising with Tim Henman, who


is with me in the studio boss dub if Roger can deal with my forehand,


he has nothing to worry about with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. You saw both


players walking out. They both look incredibly relaxed. It is a


different format with the round robin. The person who loses can


still go through to the semi-finals. If you win, it sets you are nicely.


A lot to played for this afternoon. -- sets you are nicely. We are


kicking off with Federer against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. You have 25


seconds between the points. If you want to make a challenge, tried to


it in a timely manner. Any Questions? Heads is called. Tails.


There is just confirmation that the coin used does have a heads and a


tails. Everyone is on show here. That is good work. I like the


attitude of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga about not having a coach, not being


in a structure. He likes to play freely and have a flow. What should


his game plan B? He has to have a hot streak. We see that flare in


all sports. When they are on, they are difficult to beat. If he stuck


struggling with his backhand and does not make enough first serves,


he will struggle. They were playing in Paris at the last of the Masters


series event of the year just seven days ago. Federer had never won


this event before. He got the victory. He is in absolutely


cracking form. It had been very different earlier this year, at


Wimbledon. Do you remember this I felt I was playing well. I felt


like I got a bit of a lucky break. He clipped the line and ended up


turning the whole match around. From that moment, I was just


playing so well. I was two sets down. Even me, I was not sure to


come back. I did it and it was just Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is looking to


turn this into a massive match. No one is going to beat him in a


muscle match. That is it! He causes the upset of the tournament.


Wilfried Tsonga was unplayable almost. Every time I had a slight


chance, he would shut the door on me. It was a special feeling for me


to beat Roger on Centre Court. It was really nice. I am sure it was


really nice. He would go on to lose to Novak Djokovic in the semi-final.


A head-to-head between Federer and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, it is 4-2 to


Federer. They played in Rome earlier this year. There is the


Wimbledon victory. It is the first time that Federer had lost from two


sets up and lost. In Montreal, Jo- Wilfried Tsonga or won. In the US


Open, in the quarter-final, Federer won. There was the victory in Paris


just a week ago, so it is relevant. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga attacked second


serves, served big and used all his athleticism but it was not enough.


We are going to the commentary box now. When you look at the context


of this match, it is a different scenario. It is not the first round


match where, if you lose, you go home. Both players will be keen to


stamp their authority. Federer will be looking to get off to a fast


start. If Jo-Wilfried Tsonga can dominate play, using his big serve


and big forehand, it will be fascinating to see how things


unfold. When you practised with Federer, earlier this week, was it


on this court? They put down two great practice courts at the


Queen's Club, which is a bit more convenient for the players to get


to from the hotel. They have the same surface and a couple more


courts. What was the one at Queen's like? I asked Roger about the


comparison between here and Paris, which was the same surface. It was


dictated by how many coats of paint that put on top of it. The more


paint, the slower it becomes because it is abrasive. This was


quicker and livelier. It took the spin a bit more. I think he would


like that. He likes the ball coming on to him. He does not have to


worry. It will also hope -- help Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. The surface


suits all the players, pretty much equally. David for rare is a slow


court player but it gives everybody a fair go. -- David Ferrer. If


you're trying to go to the aid to, there are some tickets available.


The managing director of the tournament says that there are


tickets available for tomorrow afternoon if you would like to see


Andy Marriott opening up his campaign. That it is Roger's wife


and, presumably, the two girls. There is Thierry Henry next to her.


I wonder if that might be something to do with the sponsor or perhaps


they are great friends. I remember Tiger Woods being in his camp at


the US Open. It is a great seat to watch from. I just wish he would


join Robin van Persie up front again at the Emirates. It was a


good result against Norwich yesterday. Just to put this event


into context in world tennis, they rub the four Grand Slam


championships, Australian Open, French Open, US Open and French


Open. They are the four majors. The event that sits just beneath them


but utterly unique in its format is the ATP World Tour finals. It is


split into two groups of four and they play in a round-robin format.


The winners of the group and the runner up after all matches are


played goes through to the semi- finals and possibly a final next


Friday, Saturday, Sunday. So, it is the sort of format to play when you


are a kid. Everyone plays everyone. When you are a kid, you do not get


$1.6 million if you go undefeated. A first singles match at the O2


this year. The defending champion, at the five time defending champion,


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the five-time champion here, is The coach of Federer now, for many


that of Tim Henman. -- formerly. UMPIRE: Game, Federer! He also used


to coach Pete Sampras as well. He knows a bit about playing on a


surface like this. He was a five- time champion of this season ending


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Match of the week Nadal against The mother and father of Jo-


Wilfried Tsonga are here. It is His father moved to France to play


professional handball from central Africa. He was the finest and will


His second cousin is Charles N'Zogbia. He comes from an athletic


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Tsonga doing well to stay in this rally, Federer will be disappointed


to miss, such a routine backhand volley. 30-30 just a half chance


It is a bit defensive on that backhand side. Probably feels he


could have made a slightly more aggressive play at that ball but


trying to keep length and the ball floated long. No problems at all.


The bounce smash despatched on Federer holds his sever. -- serve.


It is very important over the years, as you gain experience, and you


learn how to manage your game, and your body, and everything else,


when you are a professional sports man, it was important to take time


off. For Federer it was after the disappointment of losing to


Mbanjock. When he went down to Playday advice cup, which was a


great effort, then took that time off to be with the family, I guess


do some training as well. Then he came back fresh, and he won basil


and France. You think the player is going to have a break at the end of


the year. Sometimes that isn't the reality of your playing in the


world tour final, your might have the Davis Cup. Your window of


opportunity to have a complete break is very small. The Australian


Open seems to come round so quickly, I think Roger rightly felt after


the US Open, that was the time where he could Ruth Kelly have a


break, get away from the game and have an opportunity to put some


good hard yards in on the practice court and in the gym. You saw the


way he came back in those two tournaments. He looked fresh, eager,


and it was reflected in his results. He played fantastic tennis to win


both tournaments. Now he fancies his chances of defending his title


here. First of the singles matches at the world tour final, that is,


what you are watching. Glad to have you with us. 17,500 people, all the


way up into the top tier and into the roof here, enjoying this


singles match. The French number one, world number six. Severing at


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Four straight points for Federer Four points now. And Federer has


the bit between his teeth. Something I have noticed in the


last two tournaments is how Federer is trying to change the pace of the


ball. He is playing the slow slice, sometimes he is giving the ball


more margin for error to try and get the ball high on Tsonga's


backhand. Then he stets in on the forehand and gets a bigger change


Federer having missed that backhand volley in the previous game that


Tim Henman was pointing out and battened down the hatches. He has


this mini momentum now. Striking the ball cleanly, Tsonga will need


That is the first break of serve. When someone serves as well as


Federer does, you can't donate that break of serve early on. So hard to


That is a lot of work on that forehand. Massive top spin. Just


dipped down into the corner. No challenge. Hawk-Eye in operation


here. Yeah, ball dipping down at . Four points in a row has suddenly


become eight points in a row and Tsonga will be keen to stop the rot.


Good. Very vaing for Federer to lose this, because really, play


that volley and he is never going to miss it. The only way he could


lose is if it was bad judgment. Described earlier on this week by


Mike Dixon in the Mail as perhaps sport's most admired individual


athlete. I was thinking who else could be up there really? I mean


after the demise of Tiger Woods and the difficulties of his personal


life and behaviour, it is hard to think of a stronger brand, really.


He has represented the game beautifully over the years as we


look at his opponent today, Jo- Wilfried Tsonga, who is also a very


popular man. He certainly has. He has represented our spot so well,


but he is such a good example for the younger generation coming up,


and he is so accommodating, access to believe the media and I think


grow back 15 years and a lot of the players didn't make themselves


necessarily so available, and the young players coming up thought


that was the right way to handle the media, but I think Federer and


Nadal have recognised their responsibility to the game, and


they have done such a good job in continuing to grow the sport.


people are comfortable dealing with the media and the PR aspects of the


game and some some are not so comfort.. I don't think Andy Murray


is comfortable with the media and the obligations and it shouldn't


take away from what he does. A bit of a spat this week, perhaps,


encouraged by the media between Roger and Andy Murray, and we will


go into that at the next change of end, because it is a a little bit


spicy. Molehills and mountains. Handbags. We could make it bigger


APPLAUSE This court surface that Tim Henman was describing and the


pace of it, it feels a bit slower than last year, at the moment. The


type of rallys that are being Just watching the way the ball


bounces and the spins. It looks like the court is grabbing the ball


and it is not skidding through the court. It is bouncing up high, so,


it will probably get a bit quirk as the qeebg goes -- week gons but it


seems to favour the baseline. the week goes on but it seems to


Believe that is, yes ears family In is the last game with the old


tennis balls so if they are fluffed up and go through the air slower,


this would be the game when they are at their slowest. In other


words, the serve not quite as Really underrated second serve,


Federer instead of going for the Kirk slides the one into the body.


Tsonga couldn't get out of the way. Got tucked up and got the mistake.


Not enough made of the variation necessary at all levels of the game.


Keep your opponent thinking. You need to be able to control where


you put the ball in the service box. A consumate service game. Previous


serve from Federer was just 116mph. That was he flattened out,


125mphment he keeps you guessing as . And that serve was just 88mph,


but with a lot of kick and top spin. You wouldn't call it Masterclass,


it is a controlled and confident performance to open up the finals.


Just to return to what we were talking about, Tim Henman and I,


about this Federer versus Andy Murray. It's a made for media thing.


It is not that big a deal. Andy Murray won in superb fashion, three


tournaments in Asia, culminating in the Shanghai master, a big event.


He did very well. Federer's response to that, when asked about


it, was "Well, Novak wasn't there. And Nadal lost early, and I wasn't


there." So it appeared he was diminishing Andy Murray's efforts


over there, and Andy in reply to that, just said "Well, I can only


beat who is in front of me," and he is spot on. But there is a little


history of some verbal jibes,. is right. And you know, I think


they are both trying to state their points, and you know, perhaps




It makes interesting interesting listening. Reading. Copy. It will


make an interesting semifinal if they get there or final. Andy


Murray has a winning record over Federer. But of course the big one


he has lost. The Slam final t three of them he has lost. He has to get


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past the three guys. Federer is one The set has been scrappy for the


most part from Tsonga. The last time they played in this city was


in SW19 in a quarterfinal and Federer won the first two set


So it's the lead for Federer who has been in control of his game.


Nothing majorly spectacular. Tsonga doesn't even look solid. He is


going to have to tighten this up and I suspect he will. 6-2 in the


first set. This match is the first singles of this particular


tournament. The ATP World Tour Finals. The top eight in the world


are here, two groups, somewhat unimaginatively called Group A and


B this is from Group B it contains the world number two, four, six and


eight. Nadal versus Fish is later on, you can hear that on BBC Radio


5 Live sports extra. But in is the the top two will place at the top


of each group and it was three or four, five or six, seven or eight.


That is how they get split up. Group A is what Andy Murray is in.


It is headed by the man who has won three slams this year Novak


Djokovic, he is the world number one by far. So it is 1, 3, 5 and 7.


And the only man in that group that Andy Murray has a winning record


against is the man he opens up against at 2.00 tomorrow starve r


afternoon. That is David Ferrer. He lost to Berdych did Murray last


week. He has a losing record against Novak Djokovic but he has


beaten him before. But there is no such thing as an easy match at this


event. Who did you play in your groups when you were in the event?


Well, the first time I qualified was in Hanover in Germany and I


played Rios. I won that then I beat the person who won the tournament.


It show jous to get through your group and if you can do that it is


all to play for. Two players going through from each group. The winner


of one group plays the run er up of the other and vice versa in the


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semifinals. It is a week away. APPLAUSE. UMPIRE: First game,


second set. Really the perfect start for Federer in the second set,


getting off to an easy hold, and breaking serve at the end of the


first set gives him the momentum again, and very unusual for Tsonga


to lose his serve to love twice in one set. It really does need to


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knuckle down now, and get an early Can almost sense by the crowd's


reaction, they want Tsonga to get involved in this match, otherwise


The crowd would love to see this second set a little tighter than


Really feel wheng Tsonga gets a look at the Federer second serve he


has to be more aggressive. The tharty -- charity do last fight


tat Savoy hotel in London, give it your max, a charity for


disadvantaged children. Taking tennis round your world, givityour


max. Org. Baseline ball from Tsonga. That was a loose one! Such a good


first serve into the body to set up the what Federer wanted, very


surprising he missed that shot at a That is another loose one. Rushed


on the forehand side. Tsonga is in the match. That will get it going.


Make him feel like he is a part of Had a fantastic junior career


Tsonga. Even this country thinks of him having arrived in 2007. He won


a challenger, and he was playing at Queens Club as well. Doing really


really well. Beat Lleyton Hewitt and it was like that was the time


of his arrival. He got so badly injured so many times he never


really got anything going, but he was certainly a star junior player,


and the cameras moving round the crowd here, as I say if you want to


come along tomorrow to be part of this show, you can. You can come


and see muver play as he opens his campaign in the season ending


championships against David Ferrer. Just a few hundred tickets


remaining. 17 500 in tote in the Now important first two points or


so in this game for Tsonga. He has just broken serve. He would like to


cement that break by holding here. Keep his nose in front. 2-1 second


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A shocking run of points from Roger Federer. The errors really coming


off the rackets. Tsonga is not really doing much, keeping the ball


We talked about roufpbs points that Federer had in the first set,


suddenly he was 30-0 up on his serve in the third game and Tsonga


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has won eight points in a row. Now The tennis Blair's call this the


Masters. They have always called it the Masters. -- tennis players. It


is a season ending for Nari. It is the eight players who have had the


best year. Over the years, some names really stand out. Nastase Was


phenomenal in the 70s. Pete Sampras was the man in the 90s. Ivan Lendl


would be tremendous record and five titles. You can see Ivan Lendl at


the Royal Albert Hall in about two weeks. Wednesday week. You can also


see Tim Henman in action against Greg Rusedski. I'm looking forward


to that. That is going to be great! This is the trophy they are playing


for. It really does mean something. If you are not familiar with this


event, it is quite a spectacular thing to have in London. We have


Queen's and Wimbledon in the summer and this one as well. It is so mild,


it does not feel like winter. It is nice, isn't it? It is good for golf.


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The last thing Tsonga wants to do is to play pretty tennis against


Federer. He wants to take the tennis out of the ball and really


intimidate Federer if he can. Federer said Tsonga can win matches


by force and I know what he means. He is really looking to take the


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That was a complete miss time, It is amazing to think after 40


minutes, we're a set and a half into this match. It has not been


the longest rallies despite the court surface been so slow. --


It is not possible to ports on to the court every time and place


This was a lovely, rolled backhand. You thought this was the end of the


rallies. Tsonga picked up a half volley on the backhand himself.


UMPIRE: Let, first service. A bit Federer has been a bit flat over


That was a first class return of the big picking serve. A lot of


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Look at this! That was fast racket He is a very watchable, isn't he?


In the first set, Federer was able to get the double break. Tsonga


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will be keen to break the Federer It is the continual bludgeoning


from Tsonga and the fact that Federer does not know when it is


coming. He is not giving Federer any rhythm at all. He deserves


great credit for taking some of the spirit - sapping the spirit of


And that will do it will start a second break. -- that will do it.


Dad and mum love it. A second break of serve. That should be it for the


set. We were worried about Tsonga in the first set but not now. Good


on him. It looks as though we will have a third set. It is the top


eight only in this spectacular format. Two round-robin groups.


About �70,000 for being here. If you win a match, you get 120,000


more for each match you win. If you win the semi-final you pick up


$380,000. If you win the final, it is 770. If you win all five matches,


you walk away with 1.6 3 million. That is about a million quid and


some shrapnel, which is very nice. As for computer points, and


undefeated champion would take 1500 points. With Wimbledon you get 2000


for women -- winning, and one of the Grand Slams was up just beneath


the Grand Slams in terms of importance. The money is not that


vital to any of these players. Bonuses and the rest of it. If you


are here, you are a pretty wealthy young man. It is a lot about honour


amongst the players, this event. A real feather in anyone's cap to


come to regroup with these sorts of A drop volley. Good hands at the


net for some The. Federer elected That shot has only been around


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about 20 years. So many players UMPIRE: New balls, please. He did


look proud of his son. Not like your dad was that he would sit


there barely stoic. There was not much expression. Didier is a bit


different. Those two it sets were the mirror image of each other.


Tsonga was donated a break. Suddenly a couple of loose


forehands and Tsonga was into the match. He ran away with the second


set. Amazingly after 51 minutes we are about to start the third and


deciding set. How important that will be-both players. Whoever grabs


momentum first -- first, is likely to win. Just look at this arena! It


is fabulous, isn't it? I saw Prince in here. They stage so many events.


It has become the most successful entertainment arena in the world.


They were not able to stage the Michael Jackson concerts,


tragically. They know what they're doing with sports events, as well


as music. It has worked very smoothly. The serve of Tsonga. This


is the first thing that Federer needs to address. Tsonga is only


making 44% of first serves. His percentage went up in the second


set. Federer will be looking to take advantage of the second serves


he gets. First and foremost, serving this first game, he will be


very pleased to get his nose in There have been four break-point


opportunities in the match and all He will be keen to try to create


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some of those opportunities early Tim and I was talking about the


record of Roger Federer and how, in Paris, at the Masters, which he won


weaker go against this very opponent, he had won his 8th


hundred so -- 800th match on the McEnroe had 175 wins, Ifan Lendl --


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Ivan Lendl 195. Heading the list is It is almost like there is a flight


in the room when the ball goes up like that. -- a fly. It was not


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Federer is challenging that call. The ball was called in. That is the


first challenge this match, I think. I think that was in hope rather


That was 138 miles an hour on the It is a strange shot to be playing


really. He is in the game. It is a game point from Tsonga. Why does he


not block that back? I think he is trying to be aggressive and looked


to get on the offences -- offensive You do not see that very often from


Federer Fulstow up he is not seeing the ball that well today.


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He is moving well, isn't he? He is That was a big mess. -- mess.


Federer is not that involved. It is It is amazing how he can turn


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The next time you go and play tennis, try this one. It is such a


hard ball. To get that level of power takes technique, as well as


He had the court open, Federer pulls stuck it was on the forehand


side of Tsonga. -- Federer. would still back Federer to make


this shot. The big forehand dictated the reason why Federer


This is a fascinating match. Singles match number one at the


season ending Championships. Just the top eight divided into two


We are going to see some great It is fascinating. Federer is


having to think his way through the match. He is moving the ball with


the serve out wide on the deuce court. He is trying to get his


first serve in. It is a strategic match. It is good to see both


players playing well at the same time. In the first set, Federer


completely dominated. In the second set, Tsonga ran through it. Now you


have the element of chess. People working out how to outmanoeuvre her


opponent. It is difficult to hit through the opponent. As you saw on


the last first serve from Federer, only 97 miles an hour but looking


to set up this forehand with the second shot. He knows if he says


that one, it will not get belter straight away. People step up and


tried to back the second serve. If you roller first one in, an


opponent can be left standing at the back. -- role the first one.


All sorts of things going on in this match. It is an interesting


I thought that was four poofs and a piano! But it wasn't. OK. No breaks


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of serve. This third set, 2-1 to In game is a momentum maintainer


for Tsonga. Following all the rules. Are you emplying I wasn't holding


serve easily? It might have been a bit more of a struggle Fair


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Action from Group B at the world tour finals here, just eight men


here, later on, the other two players in this four-man group will


play, that is Nadal versus Mardy Nadal-Federer as a rivalry,. They


haven't played that much this year, and to see them repeat of last


year's final, obviously in the round-robin stage, it will be


fascinating to watch. It will be interesting to see how Nadal is


playing, and he has had a bit of a break from the game. Didn't play in


Paris last week. He will be keen to put on a good show here and he has


the Davis Cup final to finish off his year. We know how that was with


Novak Djokovic, when he took Serbia today advice Cup Final. -- to the


Federer arrived on Wednesday morning, to play on Friday morning.


It is a long way to go. Having flown from New York to Dubai, then


Sydney. I think that emphasises how much the competition means to him.


Perhaps how much he wants to play in the Olympics next year. You have


to have played a couple of Davis Cup matches to be in the Olympic,


which will be at the All England Club next summer, so tennis will


feature heavily next year. Back in the games as an exhibition sport in


Los Angeles in 84. A full medal sport, they were giving them away


in last night ta. Tim Henman got one, a silver! How Mull much petrol


You and neeld Broad. Atlanta. is right. Good. Especially with




Regards if you are watching this . He tried to run round the second


serve but got tangled up. He was able to return deep and get the


unforced error from Tsonga. He is Another first serve missed from


See the difference on the second serve when he is aggressive as he


was the 15-0 point. That was a bit of a floater down the middle,


giving Tsonga all the time in the Almost a table tennis backhand


wasn't it. Just smothering the top spin and taking it early. Great


Where does Tsonga go on the first serve? Roger got there. I think


that is a remnant from a previous event in here. One of those


explosions and then bits of ribbon and paper come down. Where does he


Henry cheering against his country man here. I don't know how that


will go down. He is in the Federer camp. It is a break point after


that beautifully produced backhand and the passing shot as well. Here


Again I think Federer has to be disappointed with the return. He is


not keeping the ball away from the middle of the court. It is giving


Tsonga the chance to dictate with his forehand, and Tsonga yet to


make a first serve in this game. Federer will feel he has to take


Again that emphasises the point of why you have to take the chances on


the second serve, when he makes his first serve at 137mph, it will be


UMPIRE: Game Tsonga. Break point saved. You talk about how Federer


has been playing well. Tsonga has been playing a few games as well.


He won in mets. And Vienna. Both indoors and a final at Paris as


well. So he comes in with a lot of match wins. He will be eyeing this


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game up now. Federer having missed UMPIRE: Game Federer. There is a


feeling of cat-and-mouse continuing between these players. First set


was all Federer. Tsonga not there. Second set took a little longer at


half an hour. That was all Tsonga. 6-2. So mirror image, first two


sets. And this one very different. They have both knuckled down.


Federer had a break point. In Tsonga's previous service game and


didn't do much with the second serve return. It is narrow margins


in this match. What is going to happen next? Well, again, Federer


will look to get involved in a Tsonga service game, and this


probably is a bit of the advantage of serving first in a set. He is


always in the lead Federer, has done a good job on his service


games. Up 4-3. The pressure is back on Tsonga. But you know, it could


very well go to a third set tie- break. And in the context of this


tournament, the round-robin even, what an important tie-break that


would be. It would. It is round- robin play here, just eight player,


two groups of four. When it comes down to picking the two best


players from the group at the end of the result, comes down to the


amount of wins you have got. If you won three you will go through, be


if you are tied on two wins or one win it gets a bit math mat tal. Sue


is here tomorrow and she can bring her calculator. She the work it out.


It is possible to win two matches and mot go through. It is possible


the one one match and still go through.? It is impossible to not


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go through if you have won all your Fifth ace of the match. Quickly up


When you are serving at 3-3 -- 3-4 in the deciding set, a lot of cheap


points, pressure straight back on Both players know that any slip now,


a couple of missed balls here or there and the match could be over


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in double quick time. It is quite UMPIRE: Game Federer. APPLAUSE.


Disappointing game as far as Tsonga fans are concerned. First point was


absolutely crucial, Tsonga had a chance to at least make Federer


play a ball. But didn't do it. So 5-4 and one game away from victory,


. He doesn't like to have a coach. Look at him reacting to the music.


He likes to do his own thing and not be involved in a riming id


structure or be involved with anybody else. He likes to let it


flow out of the racket. We can understand that logic. As well from


a coach's point of view he is not the easiest player to work with


because he has so many different attributes to his game. It is that


natural flair you are trying to let flow in the matches. If you try to


give him a game plan to stick to, I don't think it would work, I think


there is definitely common theme, there is the points that he needs


to do well in his game, first serve, look to dictate with his forehand,


as that man's done a few times in his career. Thank you very much.


Thank you very much. World number two at the moment. And he can't


overtake Novak Djokovic at the top of game this week. He is probably


saying to himself "Come on boy, hurry up. Need a practise on the


court." He will be hitting a few balls after this in preparation for


the second match in this group. He plays Mardy Fish this evening.


Talked about how clean the last two service games were, you don't want


to miss a shot like that. First point of the game. Looking to put


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that out of his mind pretty APPLAUSE. That is a clean hit on


the forehand side. Approved of by his exam: It follows a double fault


and a missed volley as Jo-Wilfried Tsonga has contributed to what


could be his own downfall here. The defending champion and five times


champion of this season is in good shape in this game. Three match


APPLAUSE. One save. He is going to have to keep throwing the heat.


Serve his way out of trouble. That UMPIRE: Game set and match.


wasn't easy but Federer was up to a winning start at the O2. Massive


disappointment for Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. And just as in Paris last


week, it is victory for Federer It wasn't always the prettiest of


performances from either player. Certainly some major highlights in


it as far as the standard is concerned, but I think Jo-Wilfried


Tsonga will be so disappointed, Tim Henman, with a capitulation at the


end, just a couple of mistakes. Poor service game bg but from


Federer's point of view he didn't play his best tennis, the


conditions were tricky court locks like it is slow, a bit sticky and


he's managed to come away with a win, so it puts him in a strong


position in this group, but Tsonga still had the opportunity. That is


the joy of this sort of format, these group stage, you can lose a


match and still come back, and still go through to the semifinals.


Just the top two from each four-man group go through to the semi finals


and possibly the finals after that. So all is not lost for Jo-Wilfried


Tsonga. Federer is in good shape. 6-2, 2-6, 6-4 the final score.


Federer found way to gain the victory. The crowd enjoyed it. This


Sunday afternoon, and there is much more to come later on this evening.


Tomorrow, from 2.00, you can see Andy Murray in action, he will open


his campaign against one of the two Spaniards, David Ferrer, the world


number five. Tickets are still available if you fancy coming down.


This one has gone to Federer. didn't think about it, but he


played an amazing match against me at Wimbledon and redevered to win


and today almost again it was close. You know, I had a bit of luck maybe


in the last game. It came at the right time and I am happy to get


off a good start. It changed round quickly, that opening set was


almost perfect. 21 minutes an he came back at you fast. Yes I had a


couple of errors to give him the chance at 30-30. That is all it


takes indoors against a great player like Jo. It was it was


unfortunate for me, he took advantage of it. He served


fantastic and it was hard to control the rallys from the


baseline. I feel fortunate to come through but I am happy with my


level. You are on a 13 consecutive match win at the moment. Is this


the best you have played all year? Possibly, for a long period of time


this is an amazing run, it started back after the open, after that


loss against Novak Djokovic, it is a good reaccuse sthaurpbgs is the


stuff I expect from myself, but it has been, I have had some time off


and played great in Paris and here I am, so I am happy to be here.


is the tenth consecutive time you have made the season ending


championships which is a phenomenal record. You still get the same


thrill? Absolutely. It has changed over the years from different venue,


started in 2002 in Shanghai, and going to Houston, back to Shanghai


and here to London, so it has been a great journey, I have played full


seasons, my whole career really, so I've been fortunate to play so many


world tour finals and this is one of the best one, and I am happy to


have won here and experienced this amazing crowd. APPLAUSE Just


finally, it was great to see Henry in your box today, I don't know if


that was psychology in on your part, a Frenchman rooting against a


Frenchman. He just wanted to see some tennis, it happened against Jo.


I am going to speak to him now, if he has not already. It isifies he


came out, still following in New York, we see each other. How is his


tennis? Pretty good. A great athlete, and he is talented. That


is all I can say. Roger, congratulations today. Thank you


very much. So Roger Federer looking more comfortable in interview tan


he was on the court some of the time there. But he got the victory


and it was a tough one in three sets. Later on it is Nadal versus


Fish from this group. You can see what that does to Group B. Federer


has opened up with a victory. And Group A is under way tomorrow, the


first match in the afternoon, live coverage on BBC Two and HD, Andy


Murray versus David Ferrer, after that Novak Djokovic will be in


action against Thomas Berdych. Just confirming that on the HD channel


on BBC Two. Murray versus Ferrer. It is on line, it is everywhere


because Murray is in town. What do you Mick of his form Tim? He has


played fantastic. He had the great run in Asia, he won those three


tournaments, and you know, he lost to Thomas Berdych if Paris but I


wouldn't read a great deal into that, he is number three in the


world an he will fight hard for that position. Himself and Federer


have been having a few words in the press which has been amusing and it


will be good to see if Murray can finish up number three It is good,


Andy has never been intimidated. He said the other day apart from South


African. That is when he was young, you have to be that way. That is


right, and those guys now know, actions speak louder than words and


they want to be, you know, doing their talking on the court. This is


a great place to do it. It is incredible. It really is such a


great event, we are fortunate to have it in London. You have the


best eight players in the world. For Federer that was a good start.


He didn't play his best. I don't think he was totally comfortable


with the conditions. It was job done. Tim, good talking to you


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