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Looking back at Roger Federer's record 6 title triumphs at the ATP Finals

ANALYST
Feature
Timeless

Roger Federer
Roger Federer

The ATP Finals is the season-ending tournament pitting the top eight players of the season in a round-robin format, followed by a semifinal and a final.

Since its inaugural edition in 1970, the tournament has been called by various names over the years: Masters Grand Prix from 1970 to 1989, ATP Tour World Championships from 1990 to 1999, Tennis Masters Cup from 2000 to 2008, ATP World Tour Finals from 2009 to 2016, and ATP Finals since 2017.

Hosted in Tokyo, Paris, Barcelona, Boston, Melbourne, Stockholm, Houston, New York, Frankfurt, Hanover, Lisbon, Sydney and Shanghai in the past, the event has been held in London since 2009.

All but the first two editions of the tournament have featured a semifinal and a final. Except 1970 (6 players), 1971 (7 players), 1982-1984 (12 players), 1985 (16 players), the tournament has been an 8-player round-robin competition followed by a semifinal and a final.

The ATP Finals has been an indoor tournament, except for 1974 Melbourne (outdoor grass), 2003 Houston and 2004 Shanghai (both outdoor hard). 28 editions of the tournament have been played on carpet, 1 on grass, and 21 on hard. Hardcourt has been the surface in use since 2006 Shanghai.

The 2019 ATP Finals in London would be the 50th edition of the tournament. Of 23 players to have lifted the title, Roger Federer (6) leads a group of 9 players to have won the tournament multiple times.

Let us relieve the Swiss' maestro's title-triumphs in the season finale.

1st title: 2003 Houston

Roger Federer lifts his first ATP Finals title at 2003 Shanghai
Roger Federer lifts his first ATP Finals title at 2003 Shanghai

In his second appearance at the season-ending tournament after a semifinal exit to eventual winner Lleyton Hewitt on his tournament debut the previous year, Federer found himself in a group containing Juan Carlos Ferrero, Andre Agassi and David Nalbandian.

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Federer dropped only seven games in his straight-set wins over Ferrero and Nalbandian, while he needed a third-set tiebreak to see off Agassi en route to topping the group.

In the semifinals Federer beat the reigning US Open champion Andy Roddick, before beating Andre Agassi in straight sets to record his first triumph at the tournament. It was Federer's ninth title in a year which saw him win his first Major at Wimbledon.

2nd title: 2004 Houston

Roger Federer beat Lleyton Hewitt to win the 2004 ATP Finals in Houston
Roger Federer beat Lleyton Hewitt to win the 2004 ATP Finals in Houston

World No. 1 Federer had 2002 champion Lleyton Hewitt, Carlos Moyá and French Open champion Gastón Gaudio in his round-robin group.

For the second year in a row, Federer dropped only one set (Moyá) in three group stage wins en route to the last four. There, he conquered Marat Safin in a titanic second set tiebreak to win 6-3 7-6 (20-18) and set up a title match with Hewitt.

The Swiss maestro overcame Hewiit in straight sets for the second time in the tournament to become the first player since Hewitt himself to successfully defend his ATP Finals title.

3rd title: 2006 Shanghai

Federer beat James Blake in 2006 to win his 3rd ATP Finals title
Federer beat James Blake in 2006 to win his 3rd ATP Finals title

For the fifth time in as many appearances in the tournament, Federer navigated the group-stage without dropping a match, beating Ivan Ljubičić, Andy Roddick and David Nalbandian to set up a semifinal with his arch-nemesis Rafael Nadal.

Earlier in the season, Nadal had inflicted Federer his first defeat in a Grand Slam final, beating the Swiss maestro at Roland Garros. That prevented a clean-sweep of all four Majors in a calendar year for the first time since Rod Laver in 1969.

The dominant World No. 1 would have his revenge on the fast indoor courts in Shanghai, beating Nadal in straight sets. He then dropped just 7 games in the final against James Blake to lift his third title at the tournament.

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