Dominant Federer downs Ferrer

22 November 2010 - 02:50 By Sapa-AFP
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Roger Federer underlined his determination to finish the year on a high as the world number two cruised to a 6-1, 6-4 victory over Spain's David Ferrer in his opening match at the ATP World Tour Finals on Sunday.

Federer arrived in London for the prestigious end-of-year event, featuring the world's top eight players, in the unusual position of not being the sport's preeminent force after a relatively unsuccessful campaign by his high standards.

Although he started the season by winning the Australian Open, he lost his grip on the Wimbledon and French Open titles he won in 2009 and failed to return to the US Open final.

But, of course, what constitutes a slump for Federer would still be a season to remember for most of his peers.

He had won 12 matches in a row before losing to Gael Monfils in the Paris Masters recently and if anything could put a spring in his step it was the sight of Ferrer across the net.

Ferrer, 28, had lost all 10 of his previous meetings with the Swiss star, including a defeat in the 2007 final of this event when it was staged in Shanghai.

Although Ferrer has returned to the top 10 for the first time in three years after reaching five finals and winning two titles this season, the gap in class between he and Federer was immediately apparent.

Federer, who has won this title four times, wasted no time taking control as he unfurled a typically dazzling array of groundstrokes.

He broke in Ferrer's first service game and then again two games later to open up a 4-0 lead.

Like the rest of the crowd, Argentine football legend Diego Maradona, watching from the stands after earlier seeing Manchester City thrash Fulham across London at Craven Cottage, couldn't fail to be impressed by such a commanding display.

Ferrer briefly stemmed the tide with a break of his own, but Federer simply increased the tempo of play and broke again in a marathon sixth game, which included six deuces, before serving out the set.

To his credit, Ferrer refused to throw in the towel in the second set, yet Federer was able to hit too many winners to be kept at bay for long.

The Swiss broke for a 3-2 lead after frustrating Ferrer with some sturdy defence as his opponent tried to wrestle back the initiative.

Even that blow didn't completely discourage Ferrer and he earned two break points in the next game. However the Spaniard couldn't convert either as Federer produced some big serves to maintain his lead.

When Federer came to serve for the match at 5-4, he seemed to lose concentration and Ferrer was able to earn three break points.

Yet again though, Federer kept his poise and fought off all three break points before clinching the win with an ace.

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