Roger Federer is missing in action from the Nitto ATP Finals this year given that he is recovering from his double knee surgery. However, with the action set to get underway on Sunday, the World No. 5 decided to take some time out for ATPTour.com and relive his memories from 2010 and 2011 - the only two years that he won the event in London.
In the video, Roger Federer can be seen going through the highlights of his final wins in 2010 and 2011 - against Rafael Nadal and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga respectively. The six-time ATP Finals champion reminisced some of the key moments in both of those matches.
Roger Federer began by praising the atmosphere at the O2 Arena, which he believes is magical in the way it puts the players under the spotlight.
“At O2 I think it's magic, in the darkness of the room and really highlighting the players,” Federer said. “Making it all about the players really.”
While watching the highlights of his match against Rafael Nadal, Federer noted the effectiveness of his serve and forehand. Those two shots helped the Swiss outplay the Spaniard in the match, which is not a surprise given that they are his two biggest weapons.
“The first win I had in London was in 2010 against Rafa in the finals,” Federer said. “He has always been a tough player for me to play against you know but I think in that match I felt that I was setting up my points nicely with the serve and then dominating with the forehand.”
Roger Federer then relived the forehand winner that he hit on match point. Even though the Swiss was unsure whether it had fallen in, Nadal conceded the point without any fuss.
Finally, Federer remembered how both players had come through a grueling season, adding that it was quite thrilling to end the season on a ‘good note.’
“I'm serving match point 5-1 and 40-15, I don't know if the ball was in or out but Rafa gave it to me, no dramas there,” Federer recalled. "You know I was very happy, and both of us were you know coming after a tough long season. It was nice for both of us to be in the finals. Of course you wanna win it you know but nevertheless for both of us to end the tournament on a good note - finals, semis or winning - is always a thrill.”
Roger Federer relives his 2011 win over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
Roger Federer’s final in 2011 against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was arguably more challenging match for the Swiss than the one against Rafael Nadal.
Federer served for the match in the second set at 5-4 and even held a match point in the ensuing tiebreak, but failed to make it count. The then 30-year-old upped his game in the decider though, eventually emerging victorious by a scoreline of 6-3, 6-7(6), 6-3.
In doing so, Roger Federer won his third straight indoor title after Basel and Paris, and finished the season with an emphatic 17-match win streak.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion recounted some of these memories and went on to laud his good friend Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
"I think I might have served for the match in the second set but then I got really nervous and then ended up letting him comeback in the match,” Federer explained. “In the end as you can see I was very very relieved to be able to come through. It was just a great way to finish the year-end season. And I always get along very well with Jo Willy and he was a wonderful indoor player who had everything. On any given day he could beat you.”Published 15 Nov 2020, 20:40 IST