Day 8: Final: Federer v Tsonga Tennis: World Tour Finals

Day 8: Final: Federer v Tsonga

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London is no stranger to history. Everywhere there are monuments to


the past. This scene of the coronation of kings and Queen's,


the home of the mother of Parliaments. Today it will witness


a little bit of sporting history. Behind this door is a man who is


about to play his 100 Korea final. He is looking for his 70th career


title and should he achieved that it would be an historic 6 win in


this event. Behind this door is a young Frenchman who, if he triumphs,


will become the first player from his nation to win this prestigious


end-of-season tonight. If you have a feeling of deja-vu today, it is


no surprise because this is the third meeting between Roger Federer


and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in London this year. Tsonga came from two


sets down to beat Federer in a dramatic Wimbledon quarter-final.


The upset of the tournament! only last Sunday Roger defeated Jo-


Wilfried here at the O2 Arena as he embarked on the quest for that six


a Masters crown. Federer is off to a winning start at the O2! So, now,


we end as we began, and on this great stage, will it be the ballet


of Federer or the jive of Tsonga? Whatever the outcome, history will


be made. Good afternoon. That is what we are


looking forward to at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals but before we


look ahead to that I would like to say how shocked and deeply saddened


all of us here at BBC Sport and a question of sport were to here of


the debt of the Welsh manager Gary Speed earlier today. Tim and Andrew


are with me, I know that Andrew knew Gary very well, as I did, he


was on a question of sport and many occasions, he was a terrific man to


work with and our thoughts are with his family and friends at this time.


Looking ahead to this match, Federer against Tsonga, it might


not be the final everyone thought it would be, but they have been the


two players in form since the US Open. Very much so and these are


probably the favourite conditions for most players. Federer, his


track record speaks for itself, and the way that Tsonga has played and


the type of tennis he plays, I think he can make life


uncomfortable for Federer. You go back one week to last Sunday, I


think Federer was fortunate to come through in the third set. He


dominated that dead set, Tsonga was able to reply in the second set --


dominated the first set. Tsonga can take Federer out of his comfort


zone. Andrew, we talked about Federer yesterday so let's talk


about Jo-Wilfried today. He came through a good match yesterday,


defeating Tomas Berdych. Yes, and it was comfortable. He had a couple


of lapses, but he was not punished in the second set and always looked


like he would win. He said in the press conference, we are going to


get this done and then go on a massive party. He is looking


forward to the end of the season. He has all of the firepower to make


the guys ahead of him in the rankings have a nightmare, and that


is why this is such an interesting final because he can take the match


away from it. He is a great personality, that is what the crowd


love, though celebrations. That's hear what he said after the match


when he was asked about facing a familiar foe today.


Three consecutive Sundays versus Federer. You lost in two sets the


first set -- the first Sunday, three sets the second Sunday, what


you expect in the third Sunday? expect to win, of course. It is all


the time really exciting to play against Roger. It is going to be


really special here for my first final here. And it's going to be an


amazing atmosphere, I think, at the court, and I'm sure I will respect


Roger, but play my best tennis. Will there be part of you, because


it is your last match of the year, that will just want to seize the


moment, just go for it and see what happens? Anyway, I will give


everything. If I have to break my toe to win, I will do it, for sure!


I note it's the last match, so I will give it everything and I know


right after that it is the party, so it is good.


It would be a much happier party if he won today, that is the shot. I


say a familiar foe, they have met in the last three Sundays in a row,


but have met on 10 occasions so far. This is their 8th meeting of the


year. They must know each other's game so well. They obviously know


each other's games, but I think the start will be important. When you


watched Federer against Ferrer yesterday, Federer got off to a


shaky start but you never felt Ferrer had the firepower to trouble


him. If Federer gets off to a slow start and Sunday is firing, if he


gets an early lead, he could make Federer uncomfortable -- and Tsonga


is firing. I think the first half an hour is going to be critical in


the outcome of the match. Let's take you back, you were there at


Wimbledon and saw this great match, this great comeback from Tsonga at


Wimbledon in the quarter-final against Federer. It was unheard of,


it was so surprising to see. There was absolutely nothing that Federer


could do, he did not look animated at times in the last three sets but


stronger only lost one serve in the opening service game -- but Tsonga


and only lost one serve. I will say song that has served more aces this


year than anybody else, and that is a key shots today. If he keeps


Federer off-balance like at Wimbledon we could be looking at


tie-breaks all the way. He is an offensive force. It is like he


believed in himself after that. We talk about him having great


potential and it is still a bit up and down. He has got that French


flair, and when he is on he is fantastic. There can be a few


lapses in concentration where his form dips a bit, but given the


circumstances and the environment of the match, the final match of


the year, an unbelievable atmosphere, 17,500 people in here.


You know he is going to be very intense on every point and go for


it. It is the ideal conditions for him to cause a major upset.


mentioned the serve, he has served 31 aces this week. Is that right


going to get enough chances? That is up to Tsonga. As Federer said


before their first match last Sunday, Tsonga is a man who can win


a match by force and there is nothing you can do. His game plan


is simple, he has to serve great, get a short ball and move into the


net like he has been in the group stages and the semi-final. He has


turned himself into this attacking monster on the court and his


athletic ability, well, we have seen that. Said the match may not


be in Federer's hands. Federer has to keep Tsonga back and it will be


interesting to see how he defends on the backhand and read he gets


enough depth to keep the Frenchman at the back of the courts. Tsonga


has a world ranking of six, and you often can see a dip in form but he


cannot afford that today. He cannot, but it is part of his appeal, part


of his temperament. There has been talk about him not having a coach,


and I think today is a classic example where he does not need a


coach. The game plan is simple, he has to go out there, be aggressive,


go for his shots, serve a high percentage of first serves and when


he has the chance go for his forehand, as Andrew said. If he


does that, no doubt he can make life difficult for Federer. Let's


take you back to the best tennis this week, which came from the


racket of Federer against Nadal. He totally destroyed him. There were a


couple of elements to this. Federer was utterly brilliant, it was a


celebration of his ability with the racket, his enjoyment and


enthusiasm of the sport. Not for him this talk of being stale at the


end of the season, he is enjoying himself. This is his surface, but


Rafa has to rediscover a passion for the game. He practised on clay


today, getting ready for Spain versus Argentina. Rafa was not


great, Roger was on the day and the scoreline reflected its. Rafa's


face, it is all about passion for him and it is missing from his day


him. That is right, he relies on the movement -- it is missing from


his game. He looked flat, and when your opponent is playing right that


it will make things even worse. It was an incredible performance from


Federer, one he has built on to get into the final draw stop from


Rafa's point of view, he will be happy it is a red clay court under


his feet right now. Federer almost knew he was through the group,


because he has not been that dominant since then against Mardy


Fish and yesterday against Ferrer. The Mardy Fish match was a good


match, he was already going through as champion. The match against


Ferrer, he did not played very well. If truth be told, for about three-


quarters of the match, the first set particularly, the real


difficulty on the backhand. He worked his way through the gearbox


and was probably in third or 4th gear towards the end of it. People


have to play better than that today, and that is a challenge for him.


This is not a foregone conclusion. It is not. We heard from Jo-


Wilfried, let's hear now from Roger. This is what he had to say


yesterday after his win. On Sunday it will be your 100


career final. What an amazing achievement that is.


SUE BARKER: But the crowd did not have enough, they went on and on,


they wanted to tell Roger what they thought of him.


I am not sure I want to say the next bit, but you are going for


your six Evert title which would put you out on your own as well.


What does that mean to you? I did not think I would reach 100 finals


in my career, to be honest. You cannot really plan that. But one


thing I can tell his I will not retire after my 100th final.


could be here a while! I knew going into this match I could reach my


100th final, I could win my 70th final at the same time tomorrow. It


is an amazing career I have had, so lucky, I am still standing and


still running. I don't know how I do it, 100 finals and still walking


normally, but I feel healthy, fit and motivated and to be playing at


the highest of levels for so many years and play my 100th final in


London means so much Jimmy. One record after another for this


great champion -- means so much to me. If he wins today he will go top


of this illustrious list. It is an illustrious list. This is an


important event at the end of the year. It used to be called the


Masters, the players sometimes call it that now, now it is the Barclays


ATP World Tour Finals. This is for Champions area. There is one thing


I would say, if anybody is looking for any omens or anything, there


have been 14 times when someone has lost to someone in a group and then


beaten someone in the finals. The person who lost as won eight times


compared to six. The last time it happens was when Federer played in


2005, he lost to David Nalbandian in the final. A minor factor, but


Federer will remember it. But there are a number of players saying, is


the format the right one? It is difficult to play someone early in


the week and then face them in the fine will. It is, but that is what


makes it unique. -- in the final. There are a lot of permutations and


if you lose in the round robin you can still go through. You could win


two matches and still go out. I think they enjoyed the added


opportunity. Tsonga has obviously recovered well from his first lot


and has everything to play for today. The atmosphere is building


here and it was incredible yesterday when Roger walked on to


the court, a standing ovation because he is loved by the crowd.


His enjoyment of hitting a tennis ball is what keeps him out there


despite everything he has achieved. He just still enjoys actually


hitting the tennis ball. How nice is that to see? We have had a lot


of whining and moaning, people are injured so it is coming into focus,


but these two guys have been the best by far this week. A real shame


Murray had to pull out because he could have been involved in this,


but we have got the right find will. We have. As far as Roger is


concerned -- to write final. As far as Roger is concerned, I think


there is a time later in life when he will be looking and be proud.


will be proud. Right now, he has to concentrate on his game plan, his


strategy, the way he wants to serve and where, and dictate from the


baseline. If he does that, everything else will take care of


itself. Let's hear from the two players.


New admitted yesterday you were nervous, how do you feel today? --


You admitted yesterday. I feel good. What do you need to did today to


get the win? Be aggressive and play my best tennis because Roger is a


very good player, may be the best in the world ever, so I have to


play my best tennis. Good luck. SUE BARKER: I was told it was


Annabel Croft doing that into the! Her voice has got a bit deeper


lately -- that interview. Roger is talking now.


You have had a Parade of -- an incredible career, does it get


easier? It is still nerve-racking, but a nice feeling because you are


playing a good tournament and this is the last push, so I hope I can


play a good match. Where will the match be won or lost? It is indoors,


so we all have to be aggressive. Good luck.


So, the players are on their way, and this is a prestigious event,


Tim. We talk about the Grand Slams but this is the next best thing, a


major milestone for Jo-Wilfried. Very much so, those of the top 20,


25 guys. When you start the year, the world or finals are at the back


of your mind. If you can have the results and the big finals, there


is a opportunity to qualify. When you talk about the top eight, it


really is a select and exclusive groups that make this tournament.


Said this is a culmination of a fantastic year and Tsonga will be


looking to try to win it for the first time. We said earlier with


the Tsonga, he is probably the next two could break this top four day


block. You do feel he has the tools in his game -- this top four


deadlock. The first half an hour watching him physically is going to


be amazing today. MC: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga!


MUSIC: "London Calling" by The MC: Ladies and gentlemen, the


holder of six in Grand Slam titles, the five-time year end ATP World


Tour No. 1, playing today in his 100th World Tour final, the


Barclays ATP World Tour Finals defending champion, from


MUSIC: "London Calling" by The Another standing ovation for Roger.


It is interesting looking around the auditorium, so many hundreds of


people went right down to the front to get a picture of him coming on.


This is not just an event, it is their chance in London to come and


see this. It is 250,000 people watching tennis in Great Britain in


November. In the old days we had the National's at Telford. Let me


tell you, we did not get 250,000 people up there. 250 x match and


that was a good day! -- 250! And we have two more years and after that,


I guess an announcement will be made soon, but fingers crossed for


London because it is brilliant. This is a fantastic arena for


tennis, isn't it? It is amazing. Andrew was talking about how much


better -- how much Federer likes to hit tennis balls, I guess he likes


to get a reception like that when he comes on the court, pretty


impressive! UMPIRE: two weeks ago in Paris, Jo-


Wilfried when the coin toss. Last Sunday, Roger won the trying was.


This is the decider. Roger, heads or tails -- the Roger won the


SUE BARKER: They may have split the coin toss, but Roger won both


matches. There have been busy in recent weeks, Jo-Wilfried winning


in Paris, Roger has been on a winning streak. They have been able


to him built their momentum and have been in great shape physically,


so credit to their fitness trainers. Roger obviously have the big break


after the US Open which I think was key for him so he had a chance to


get away from the game, rest up, and I'm sure that is the reason he


has finished so strong. Tsonga has played a lot more after the US Open,


he has had great results but I think he has been able to ride the


wave of momentum coming in here, and what a great way it would be to


finish this year, with the World Tour finals. And as far as this man


is concerned, Jo-Wilfried, you talked about how strong he is but


he is an incredibly good athlete and it shows if you get a great


athlete playing tennis, they have it all. And with the Tour's that he


has got, it takes quite a long time to mature and to know how to use


your game to best effect. He has been out there few years, he is 26


years old, at least two or three of his professional years have been


racked with injury and remained his momentum but now his body has


strengthened him to his athleticism and he knows how to get a back even


if he is not playing great. He is in the middle of the best part of


his career, up from 13 to six this year, that match is a career-high


ranking -- ranking. He is enjoying himself. What Andrew is saying


about the fact he has knuckled down, he is training hard, you almost


have to now in tennis. Roger started it, Rafa, the physical


attributes, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray moving on as well. We do is


focus, and rightly so, on their defensive skills. Tsonga has got a


good game. But what is not focused on is their defensive skills,


dictated by athletic ability. The best defender in the game is


Djokovic, who manages to be offensive when he is in a defensive


position. You look at the weights on the moves, he is so athletic and


Danby so dangerous -- the way song that moves, he is so athletic and


so dangerous. He has a single handed backhand which has added to


his game. Watch out for that today. It may be a big shot, a big point


winning shot today. And this man makes it look too easy. He is


that?! His timing, his movement, he has a great eye for tennis -- who


is that?! You look at his technique and the way he moves, it is


textbook. I think that is one of the reasons why he will be able to


move on -- play on for a long time because his game does not take that


much out of him. Add to that how he trains and the quality of


preparation, there is no reason he cannot go on for two, 3, four years.


He has not been out of the top two at year end for donkey's years, I


think a tears until this year. He feels, joy fully, that he has


something to prove still. I still think he can get in the mix into


next year and fight his way back up into the top two. Who knows,


possibly world No. 1 again. You never know with this match. It is


difficult to say what will happen next it, Djokovic has so much to


defend next year, will Rafa reignite the passion in his game,


will Murray makes the breakthrough? There are so many questions.


those top four, they have got nothing to prove but to themselves


because they have achieved so much, but they all have different things


to work towards. Djokovic, after the year he has had, can he repeat


that? It will be incredibly hard because he was so consistent for so


long. Nadal has sort of had a Djokovic jinx this year, losing in


six major finals to Djokovic, and then you have Federer, who wants to


add to 16 Slams. Throw Andy Murray into the occasion, wanting to win


his first Slam, it will be fascinating to what. And Roger, at


the age of 30, still as keen now, as keen as a ever. -- as keen as


ever. And these numbers can be misleading, a lot of people want to


write Federer off, saying he is too old, but only a few years ago


Agassi was in the final of the US Open at 35, Sampras won the US Open


at 30, so I think there are many more titles left in the him.


were talking yesterday about Paul who coached you and Federer, we


would say it is an easy job but in some ways it is very difficult


because Federer expects the best? That is right, we laughed and we


say, in all sports, what do the best coaches have? They have the


best players. Barmy, he has picked them pretty well! -- except for me.


It is getting his game-plan right, you know he has won so many


tournaments, so it is very small adjustments, but at think Paul has


had a very positive impact to the way that Federer strategy rises his


game. He is getting to the net when he has the opportunity more. Paul


will know, Roger will Mayer, he cannot afford a slow start like


yesterday -- Roger will know. think it was the 10th game Federer


was serving for about nine minutes and Ferrer was two points away on a


number of occasions and he felt at that moment if Ferrer could have


got the first set it would have made life even more difficult for


Federer, but as is often the case he found a way to get through that


game, broke set and never looked back and that was when his game got


better -- broke serve. If he starts in a similar vein, Federer, he


could struggle because Tsonga will come out all guns blazing. Everyone


is saying Federer is the favourite, is he for you? He is the favoured,


definitely, but I wouldn't be surprised if Tsonga causes an upset.


Andrew is already in the commentary box, so it is all yours.


ANDREW CASTLE: tents, Sue. Send Tim around. -- thank you, since. This


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is the big one, the World Tour You got one right, Andrew!


single handed backhand! A key moment, I told you. You said it


would be at a key moment. OK, perhaps that backhand was a key


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moment. From 30-0 up, Federer now It is a little bit wild and out of


control, isn't it? When he is on the run with that backhand, he is


UMPIRE: Game, Federer. When you had Paul in the camp, did


you sit down and make two or three points for thought as much yes.


Paul used to write down a couple of key points to try and emphasise


during the match - hitting the spots on the serves, maybe


strengths and weaknesses about your opponent's game. If you get off of


the right track, you always have That is 815 aces this season - top


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There is his dad with some He is not going to hang around at


the back of the court too often, is he? He is one of these players who


can impose himself and dictate play. He has the firepower. Not many can


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His dad comes from central Africa, where he was the best handball


player. He came over to play professional handball in Paris. And


his mum and dad met there. You see where he got in as let -- his


There is Robert, Roger's that. He is very proud when his son gets the


receptions that he gets all over He says he gets was the man


kindness from his mother, criticism -- was dumb and kindness. I do not


know where he gets his shoes from, Interesting defence there. Tim


Henman was talking about it before the match. The athleticism gives


you the ability to defend UMPIRE: Federer is challenging the


call. This is a big one, first serve at


15-30. Has he had his rhythm Talk about this game being about a


matter of inches. Federer did not really need to make this shot quite


so good. Anywhere in the service box would have won him the point.


The Federer camp would have been a little bit nervous about this one.


He took a bit of a swing at it. They say you pay for a whole


It is certainly an expert's racquet that he is using. Very unforgiving


on a misfit. -- mishit. Minor danger averted. Can you buy


these racquets online or in the High Street? Yes, pretty much. I


think the racquets that the professionals are using will be


doctored slightly, they will be adapted to the balance point and


their grip size that they want. much do their way? -- they weigh?


About 300 grams. Ivan Lendl used to use rackets that were about 400


grams. Andy Murray used to use one that was very heavy. I think he


uses a lighter one now. And it is the strains that have


made such a difference of the years. Do they use a blend of synthetic


and gut? Yes, it is normally a blend. That is that the main


strings and across strings are different. Why is that? Normally,


when you use the synthetic string that has come in recently, you have


that as the mainstream because that is where you're getting your power


We have not really talked about the serve-and-volley tactics too much.


I think both players will be using it just for that element of


surprise and to keep the opponent Well, well, well! I guess they do


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UMPIRE: Game, Tsonga. This is the largest indoor tennis


arena that they will play in all year. 2,500 more people than on


Tsonga's power here, he is able to change the complexion of that rally.


You felt like Federer was trying to get on top with the backhand. He


ripped the turn -- the return and was able to dominate with the


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This has two effect, doesn't it? First, it keeps him in the game,


but the real effect is that Federer is thinking, when he is serving a


second serve, what is Tsonga going It was a last shot of the rally. It


was a pretty instantaneous challenge. It was a bit forehand


from Federer, but was it dipped too Looking over at his camp and


pointing straight up again. That has become the universal


signal. Federer, I think, is getting the balls ready for the


It has been a tremendous run, hasn't it, from Federer, after the


disappointment of losing to Novak Djokovic in the semi-final of the


US Open, where he had two match points. On one of them, Djokovic


just teed off, I feel like it has been one of those years where he


has left a couple of matches about there. We have been so used to him


winning those matches in the latter stages of grounds lambs where it is


tight and it is decided by a point here or there. Given his present


form, and going into the off-season, I think that is what motivates them


to come out firing early in 2012 and add to his Grand Slam tally.


Could you see him going up to the top of the rankings again? Why not?


I think his performance in the Grand Slams so has been incredibly


consistent. He has been in the quarter-finals of 30 consecutive


Grand Slams. It still takes an incredible performance to beat him.


He is still very much at the top of the game. Again, it will be a


question of whether, in those critical moments, he can find a way


to win those important points that he has won so many times in the


past. Not exactly great news for Andy Murray as he tries to break


through the same three that have been a roadblock for him in the


past. They will finish the top That is the major of London, Boris


Johnson. He looks like he has not Against most other players, when


Federer is rallying, he is not so concerned about the debt. He keeps


the ball in certain places where he feels OK, but against Tsonga he can


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turn from defence into attack in a Tsonga's only lost one point on


serve so far. Just an indication that some of the momentum is with


When you're trying to have an impact to break serve their two


ways of doing it. Will one is that you get -- that you get really on


to your Rome -- your opponent's serve, the other is that you are


There are not really many guys who can bully Federer from the back of


the court. Tsonga gripped those two backhands. -- ripped.


UMPIRE: Federer challenge is the I think Tsonga is saying that the


market left on the court is just The confidence to show his


versatility. That is what is marking out Tsonga in this match.


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He looks very confident, very sure Greatness in tennis is measured by


how well you do in the Grand Slam tournaments. A quick look at


Federer up's record. -- Federer's records. In 2009 he won the French


Open when Rafael Nadal lost to Robin Soderling. That is the one


that completed the set. All we seven people have done that. Just a


fantastic record over such a long time. It has been a real barren


spell for him. When he goes back it Melbourne it will be two years


since he won and Grand Slam. I think he would love to put that


right. It is always interesting when you turn up at the Grand Slams


at just to get a feel for the surface and speed of the court.


Certainly, Federer will be looking for a smoother court, slightly


faster. I think, given the right conditions, he will definitely be


one of the favourites in January down in Melbourne. They can prepare


these courts in very great detail. They can dictate the height of the


bounce and away the ball back moves off of the surface. This court is


pretty slow, though you would not That is a change up from a Tsonga.


I think one of the first rules you are taught in tennis is always to


watch the ball, but as you get better you also have to be able to


see what your opponent is doing. On that first point, Federer was able


to see Tsonga coming in behind the second serve, chipped the return


CHEERING AND APPLAUSE I thought he was meant to be too old!


It was a lovely surprise for him after this forehand passing shot


that he got another bite of the cherry. Tsonga should have done


more, he didn't and paid the price. That was fabulous defence. He


should not really have had a chance to play that one. Three break


UMPIRE: Dame, Federer. -- game. That was a below-par game from


Tsonga in lots of ways. Some strong tennis from Federer. A couple of


good points from Federer at the start of the game. But that casual


He stayed with his ball so well. Look at his weight - Sat, Sat --


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It is 15-30 again on the Federer He did that earlier on, it is the


right play. Federer news that second serve could not just go in


the middle of the box, he had to make sure he got the angle, got the


kick to make sure that Tsonga had Precision from the Swiss. And it is


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a set point at 5-3 for the Good shot by Tsonga but Federer not


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Well, that was a fascinating first set of tennis. 35 minutes of it.


You feel, probably, that Tsonga needed to win that one. It is


certainly going to be a tough road back, but you look at the finer


details of the set, Federer won 28 points, Tsonga when 25, only three


points in it. But look at the important points, that is when


Federer wins and he was able to create those break point


opportunities, get his nose in front and finish it off. He is


pretty handy at finishing tournaments off, he has won 69 of


them over the years. If he wins this match, it will take him to 39


wins at this, the ATP World Tour Finals, the season-ending


championships. It would tie him with Ivan Lendl. If he wins this it


-- he would go ahead of Sampras and Ivan Lendl who both have five


victories in the championship total, so it is record books galore. He


has a tendency to win back to back, twice at Euston, twice in Shanghai,


and now the events in London where he won last year. The only person


who has ever beaten him in a world tour finals final was David


Nalbandian back in 2000 and buy it. This was such a key point here.


was a great rally, but disappointing from Sonia. He had


the whole court, but he gave it too much air -- from Tsonga. Federer


was able to get back and that gave him three break points. If he were


coaching Tsonga now, and on the women's tour the coaches are


allowed to go and have a word with their players, what would you say?


I would not say he has done too much wrong, he is getting that


balance right between aggression and consistency, but he has just


got to make sure he is disciplined, when he has opportunities to finish


the point he takes them. It is important to get off to a good


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start here, serving first in the A lovely game to re-establish


himself in the match. The last set seemed to go quickly from 3-3-6-3-


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3 it is just brilliant tennis on Tsonga, he is aggressive,


maintaining aggression in those Rileys with Federer. -- in those


That is the widest of Wight serves, it must have crossed the baseline


and it got there good 10 metres outside of the tramline -- the


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Easy game. Through, not down, on We spend all this time eulogising


about Federer, he is your absolute pigeons on the indoor courts. What


was your record, tell them. Five, I lost a set to him once. Indoors.


Did you have an off des? He was 11 when I beat him. Years of age, that


The powers of concentration you have to have when you are playing


against one of the best in the world is one of the things that is


not talked about. But you cannot start a game like that, this is now


That was a brilliant return of serve from Federer, who managed to


control it and get it deep on the backhand side from the first serve,


and he will be disappointed he It is fine lines, trying to serve a


volley behind the second serve. I think he has to be more accurate


with the second serve. Federer is able to keep the return low.


Volleying to Federer's forehand, it His first first serve of this game


A real bonus it he gets out of this game now, two double faults,


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So imposing when Tsonga finds the mark with a first serve and Federer


gets a look at the second serve, you feel he is the one with the


Federer did this on a big point in Paris, and he got a winner. This


He had to win that game. Two double faults to open up and he still


holds. To put the game at eight years old and grew up in an area of


France famous for its racetrack. Immediately after he went to the


local club to play, he fell in love with the game, and people fall in


love with him whenever he plays because he plays an exciting game


of tennis. A number of football stars here today, all I'm sure


equally as shocked as we are, actually, about the news of the


death of Gary Speed earlier on, which rather overshadows this


sporting occasion. He had so many friends among the BBC team, so we


think of him and his family. Tributes all around various


football grounds, including Swansea, today, for Gary Speed. But we will


concentrate on this tennis final, with a sense of perspective. You


cannot beat the staging, you would have loved the us. It is fantastic,


I was lucky enough to play in this event twice and it is a select


group, you feel very honoured to qualify, but it would have been


fantastic to play in London. You look at the attendance, this is the


highest attended single week tennis event in history, all three years,


with over 250,000 attending on each occasion. You would like to think


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it would have to be a hell of a bid He has beaten Tsonga already, last


Sunday, in the group stages of this event. He has beaten Nadal, Mardy


Fish from the United States, and David Farren in the semi-finals.


UMPIRE: Game, Federer. -- and David Ferrer in the semi-finals. His


opponent came through the round robin stages from the same group


and then defeated Tomas Berdych, who won the other group in his


semi-final. No particular damage done for Tsonga or that he played


the second, evening semi-final yesterday, just a two set match, so


no problems with fatigue or injury Left hand, full extension. This is


the kick, power coming off the floor through the right leg coming


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A similar scenario with players running round the second serve to


try to hit the big forehand, it sends a message. Federer probably


looking to do that a little bit There were not many better than


Federer's coach at that. He loved Three straight points for Federer,


and it's a break point at this Once again, the break comes quickly


and somewhat unexpectedly. The Janko and charge kept him in the


game. He knows how to construct a return charge. It is a question of


him picking a spot and executing it, and how well he did it there. The


man in your picture there, Paul, was probably one of the most


prolific charges. He played a match in Cincinnati whence and when he


came off court, the question was, you stayed on the baseline six


times today, what do you think? And he said, I think I stayed back too


much. Do you remember that very large headed racket, he had the


graphite one as well and he used to take to the court, it was like a


hammock, the strings, you could sleep on them on the evening, and


he would take it so early and just run in, but he had very good hands.


His highest ranking was 12 in singles and three in doubles.


think he won the Aussie Open doubles. That's right. Federer


rally hit.. What is he dealing hitting forehands over their? --


hit point. That furthest red ball to the left might have been a break


point return. He is not running around his forehand to hit


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backhands, what else can we see Tsonga has got to find some


inspiration from somewhere here, and quickly. You get the feeling he


has thrown most of his artillery Tsonga was up 30-0 in his last


service game, Federer was able to win four straight points. You just


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don't feel that he is going to let UMPIRE: Game, Federer. Federer


Federer never likes to serve with new balls. Both players have gone


over to their racket bags, stuffed full of new G-strings and are


perhaps a double of new frames, and they are getting their rackets out


now. There is not a lot the umpire can do if both players are not


Why, with one game to go, we Jo- Wilfried take a new racket now? --


would Jo-Wilfried. Are you asking me? Yes! Any series? He obviously


does not like to return with a new When a new racket comes out of the


back, the strings are almost oily, they slide over the top of each


other, whereas when you have played a game and they have this bout


between the strings, they bite a As a result of that casual drop,


neither a half volley not a drop shot, he is just six points from


And that error means it is break point. This is a virtual match


point. He is compared to Muhammad Ali sometimes. I wonder whether


Tsonga has thrown his last punchier. -- punch here.


Cheeky! Nice! It is a high-risk strategy on break point might have


done. Then a drop shot here. It is brave if you make it and stupid if


He may as well. The players have three challenges per set. And it is


A little bit casual at times, but that drop shot just kept him in. So


he hangs in there. He is up to number six in the world. He has had


that ranking before, back in 2008, when he enjoyed his career


highlight of the Australian Open final. That was the year that


Murray took a fair amount of criticism for having lost to Tsonga


in the first round. Little did we know that Tsonga would go through


the hall to order that, beat Nadal in the semi-final and lose to


Djokovic. He is an experienced man. It is sort of now or never. That is


right. It was imperative to hold serve there. If he had gone two


break down, it would have been different. Federer is in a great


rhythm. He still has to a halt serve potentially twice. Tsonga has


really got to focus his attention on these first couple of points of


Federer's service game. If he can get physio to 15 or are 0-30 then


you feel he could ask some Federer has over 800 at Windsor on


the tour under his belt. -- 800 Impressive return there on the


second serve. Tsonga Coppinger at Federer misses this first serve to


get another look at the second. -- Tsonga hoping that Federer.


likely. Still, by winning their first point he is still in this


game. He has to try and play a UMPIRE: Tsonga is challenging the


I think he weighed up his options. That is a shame. He really is the


one player who can turn that type of defence into an attack with an


incredible running forehand. You felt that he had as like the easier


Let's be honest, it is easier sitting here, but if he is going to


make an impact and get back into this match he has to make those


You kind of feel that Tsonga played a good game there. He won the first


point, played some aggressive tennis, but Federer still held


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A bit of an afterthought, wasn't it? Tsonga pushed back behind the


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UMPIRE: Game, Tsonga. Tsonga needs more than aces, he


needs a break of serve. Too many records to even talk about


for Roger Federer. He is trying to get the job done here. It always


seemed likely that he would be the man to beat. That is what everybody


has been talking about. People have been talking about how tired they


are. Andy Murray has pulled out with a groin strain. The next Grand


Slam is in Melbourne in January, the Australian Open. Tsonga, does


he have anything left? Were certainly hope so, but, from


Federer's point of view, it is a classic case of process rather than


outcome. He has to focus his action on this first point. He is not


thinking about the score, not treating the game any differently.


He wants to come out and pick his spot, execute the serve and then,


as he has done so well throughout the match, dictate with his


forehand. He has had a great week. To make it to this final is a very


high achievement indeed. He needs some inspiration and he has to


break the Federer serve. This Federer serving for a sixth


Was that the start you were talking about? Three more of these and he


Another second serve. Does he move That was an unusual tactic from


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Tsonga says, not just quite ready APPLAUSE Tsonga seals the deal,


gets the break of serve. That's my boy! Just charging in. He


drilled this one so hard into the court it came out with oil! That is


a bit of a turn-up. Federer was He missed the three first serves he


had been the game. -- had in the It is not quite so Serena now, is


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it? Federer is going to be tested Tsonga has that exhalation of


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effort, hasn't he? Federer is A little bit wild. Talk about not


the time! Gets 40-15 up and then Mrs the backhand down the line.


Goes for the big second serve. Suddenly he is back to deuce and


the pressure us right back on It look like Federer found the


outside edge. Where was the challenge? That is on the umpire's


side of the court. You thought he might have got involved in that. Or


I think, going back to that call, that is the line judge's colt, and


not the hardest one to call. -- the When they played at Wimbledon in


the quarter-final, the match that Tsonga won from two sets down, he


won three points 4 River Ewe he lost. -- for every two. UMPIRE:


That is a massive cheer. He was down to do for. -- two to four.


Federer is aiming for up as sixth title at these finals. Now, in a


matchplay situation, Federer knows that he has to win this game and


then a tie-break. It is a big thing when you're coming end at 5-6. - -


coming in. To fail to finish of the tournament


with one last strong service game is tough. You talk about the


psychology. It is so important to stay in the present tense. You do


not bother worrying about the last game or a potential tie-break. You


focus on the first point. Federer would not want to cast his mind too


far back on some of the missed opportunities he has had this year.


Djokovic, Mats point, semi-final of the US Open. Two sets up against


Tsonga at Wimbledon and lost. And the final of the French with Nadal,


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but it was not to be. Is this to be It is a great tactic. He is really


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imposing his style and his size on They have not played a lot of tie-


breaks against each other over the years. Two Sunday Max Mirnyi ago in


the Paris Masters final -- two Federer asked the question on a


passing shot, didn't try to do too much with it, knew that he had to


make Tsonga volley. He has come out with some good Valdes, that was not


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UMPIRE: Federer is challenging the Just enough back spin on the ball


on the Federer return to keep it low. That is Tsonga's bread and


butter. At this stage in the match He would not be human if he did not


get nervous. Absolut that. You saw Federer, just before this tie-break


started he was running on the spot, flexing his knees, just a bit of


nervous tension in his legs. I think that has affected him on a


APPLAUSE You can talk about the volley to win that but Federer


knows that he is going to get the forehand, rips it into the open


court. Tsonga gets across to make him


volley, but. Once again, Federer is closing in


UMPIRE: Tsonga is challenging the call.


In hope rather than expectation. It was not the cleanest drive volley


He was practising that before the doubles final this afternoon. He


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A strange lack of footwork from the If Federer wins the next two points,


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Sunday will not go away here! -- Tsonga will not go away. Great


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He had the courage of his convictions again, didn't he? A


And a forehand that had 200 pounds of Frenchman behind it. Not yet for


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A challenge from Federer. UMPIRE: The ball was called in.


ANDREW CASTLE: Was it deep or back Federer has had a match point taken


away from him by Tsonga's hitting and now it is Tsonga with the set


And we have got a decider! Jo- Wilfried Tsonga will not be denied,


it seems! It is a mini French celebration here at the O2.


Courageous stuff, really very courageous. Was it Federer's fault,


some of that? Will he blame us up? How does he respond? A combination


of the two -- will the blame himself? He had only lost oar


points on his serve, he missed his first three first serves and then


Tsonga was able to take the initiative. Once Tsonga was able to


break back, you felt there was a swing in momentum. Federer was one


point away from finishing his year in style, now he has to show his


mental fortitude. They are playing exactly the right music for a


Tsonga match, Peter Gabriel, Sledgehammer. That is what he saved


the match point with. Most of the crowd, even though they adore


Federer, the player, are very happy to see a decided yet. And it is


right that this event has a decent match to finish the week. There


have been some good ones this week but this could turn out to be the


real highlight. Nastier, Nadal beat Andy Murray in a semi-final that


when the final distance to a tie- break. But this one, I think Sunday


is flying high. Who do you favour in the first -- in the third?


have a sneaking suspicion that Tsonga will ride this way it of


momentum and form. -- ride this way is it. Federer will not be dwelling


on this, but I feel the momentum is with Tsonga now and he is looking


more aggressive, serving a little bit more consistently. It was way


back in September that Federer lost his last match. That was Djokovic


at the US Open. 16 match winning streak since then. And he did not


see that Tsonga had gone off for a comfort break there. He got up, sat


down again, and the crowd will be treated to the spectacle of the


I suspect sundeck taking his shirt off would have even more impact --


Tsonga taking his shirt off. He has got a couple of moments whilst


Tsonga comes back to the court just to compose himself, get back to his


strategy. How is it decided to serves first in the third set?


person he didn't serve the first point of the tie-break. -- the


person who didn't serve. Really, that person first -- the person


serving first in the second set will serve first in the third set.


Federer is showing some frustration with all of this, I don't think he


likes the comfort great thing too much. Andy certainly doesn't like


having had a match point and having served for the match -- and he


This is interesting, defending champion here, clearly a great


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tennis player. How will he respond He says to himself, why didn't I do


that at 5-4? It is the same end I am serving from, what is the


I think that pretty much illustrates that he picks signs and


then hits it hard, 77 miles an hour average ground stroke speed, that


is high. I think Ferrer was 55 the other day, so he hits it hard and


This is why Tsonga is difficult to play, he gets a backhand like that


and hits it as hard as he can, Some very sweet timing on the


UMPIRE: Federer challenging the call on his side of the net at the


service line. This challenge is more for peace of


mind, I think, than the expectation that the ball was out. It certainly


was not instantaneous. And it was out, and that is going to do it Jo-


Wilfried Tsonga because that was Getting a second bite of the cherry


on that point, he will be disappointed at Federer missing


that from the back of the court. Doing his best to get his feet


going, jumping up and down waiting Matches where you have match point


and Louis always stay with you, you remember them. -- and news. You


sometimes forget matches where you came back from match point down,


but it is a bitter pill to swallow, isn't it? We have had a couple of


them this week, with Tomas Berdych against Janko Tipsarevic. He came


back from match point down and also had match point against Djokovic.


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At this event, in its various guises over the years, we have had


a lot of interest in five-set matches. Now it is just three.


Would you prefer five per is I had this conversation with Federer at


the other day and he said for the final match of the Tour


Championship Sea would prefer a five-set final, you things it is a


fitting way to finish this year. didn't like it in regular


tournaments when you played three sets all week and suddenly they


threw in a five-set final, but for an event of this stature a five-set


final would be good. Why was it changed? I think players were not


getting paid any extra for playing five sets, probably. No, I think


for continuity and there were some tournaments that did have five-set


finals. Paris? Queen's would be a two set final. Paris indoors would


be a five-set final. All Grand Slams are five sets, of course, and


again see that changing, on the men's side anyway. -- and I don't


see that changing. There was a great final here in 1988 in the


York City at Madison -- Madison Square Garden, Boris Becker against


Ivan Lendl. At 6-5-better, he got a dead net call against Ivan Lendl


and won it. I'm sure Ivan was Becker three-time champion of this


event, Ivan Lendl five. Federer trying to make a total of six.


UMPIRE: Please take any risk seed, players are waiting, thank you. --


ANDREW CASTLE: People just wandering back in are getting told


off by the crowd. The trouble if it Not a political gaffe, but a gaffe


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Double figures on aces for the The first four games have been


split evenly between these two players. The beginning of this


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third set, very much building the Is this the moment that a


significant move is made by one of Federer's first serve deserted him


at the beginning of this set, he has only made four of their team,


giving the -- giving Tsonga the opportunity to look in at these


UMPIRE: Tsonga is challenging the call his side of the net, ball was


called out. Good umpiring, it is easy for them


to just rely on Hawk-Eye. I think this was a clear mistake. It was a


The man on the line called straight back into action.


Federer, of the two players, looks like the one hanging by a thread at


the moment. He is hanging on, though. He knows what to do to get


the job done, he has won these three service games but he has


looked a bit flat, a bit shell- shocked after that second set where


he failed to set out and then missed a match point. I think as we


touched on it is definitely an advantage for Federer to be serving


first. He is able to put the disappointment of the second set


behind him and keep his nose in front. If Tsonga was always up, 2-1,


3-2, 4-3, the pressure would mount even more and Federer is obviously


going to try to do that to Tsonga. A penny for Tsonga's thoughts. This


is their last match of the year, they have played an awful lot of


tennis. It starts, sometimes before new year, they will be travelling,


moving out on Boxing Day to go and play tournaments. It knocks the


stuffing out of you, being on airplanes, in hotels, even if you


are in the right bit of the airplane and in very nice hotels,


it is a long season. This is it, those. -- though. These players


will know that. They have got the Davis Cup final, mind you, next


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Tsonga lost his serve in the second set when he was up 30-0. Well done


to Chris commode in the foreground there, the managing director of the


There was more urgency to Federer's foot work there. He has not got a


He will take that as a very significant ever. He was just


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What ball striking! There are very few players who can really Billy


Federer in the rallies. Federer's ball was just landing two central


in the court. Tsonga just throws himself at that. Federer did ask


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Tsonga found himself under threat UMPIRE: Game, Federer.


What a comfortable game that was - four St points. -- straight points.


I do not know when blast then was that you saw Roger COWE but I can


remember at -- the first time you ever saw Roger, but I'd remember --


I remember seeing him playing in Milan in 2001. He was a teenager,


might have been 17. I had never seen shots hit like that before.


saw him in Switzerland when he had a wildcard and played Andre Agassi


in the first round. He went out against the top-ranked player and


looked very at home. He lost the match but he looked very


comfortable than those surroundings. -- in those surroundings.


Was it 2002 when he beat Pete Sampras at Wimbledon? 2001. There


was a real feeling of a changing of the Guard. Then he lost to some


hacker in the next round. You! That was in his pony-tailed days. He has


had a much point, suffered that this appointment. -- a match point.


A very short second serve from Tsonga gave Federer time to move


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into decision and unload the The crowd enjoyed the talented


catch from song that as the ball went up into the massive score


board and sound system, but Federer backhand was there to be made. --


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That is the one. Up instead of That was even bigger - 138 mph.


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Tsonga is really pumped at this Their conversion rates are


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Tough point. Relentless serving. The backhand down the line set it


up, sweet drop shot, not high enough. Here comes another moment


UMPIRE: Tsonga is challenging the call.


After that little break, a second It was a bit of a pushy return from


Federer, but he did not mind the pass, the pass was good. The volley


It was too long. He will be to belittle -- a little


softer with his hands on that forehand volley. -- he will need to


You know, the moment Tsonga went to his left to chase that Back and


Return, Federer was only going to hit a forehand down that line. That


is sharp match play. A big reaction, to, pent-up frustration. He is


He didn't make any of his first serves on the first three points on


that occasion. Gets a cheap point, Very nice. Nothing Tsonga and du


there. He is still so angry, Tsonga, that he lost at previous service in.


He has got to get out of that quickly. -- he lost that previous.


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More history, more records for Roger Federer! Six Tour finals to


go with his six Wimbledons in the City of London. What a fine


response. Undefeated again. That is ten


matches in a row at these championships. Undefeated once


again through the round - robins. He will remember this one, this was


tough. You see his reaction to break serve and to finish it off.


Sometimes you watch him and he seems so Cam, it seems so


effortless. But he wanted this badly and we was able to get it in


the end. -- he was able. Tsonga has contributed hugely to this event,


but this is Roger's moment. He has a tendency to get here fall at


these moments. Maybe it is because he is that bad. -- he is a father.


What a second half of the year he has had, at him. He has played


fantastically. It is the ideal way for him to finish this season. It


is a big title. SUE BARKER: Just to confirm what we


heard, Roger Federer takes his place in the history books, once


again becoming the first player ever to win this title six times.


Yet another record for the great Roger Federer. That is it for us


here on BBC Two, but do join us on the red button because we will be


staying here for the presentation of and we will hear from the


champion, and indeed the runner-up. What a week it has been. Jo-


Wilfried Tsonga has played his part. We are hoping that Rafael Nadal,


Djokovic and Andy Murray will get themselves fit enough for 2012. For


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