Roger Federer crushes Rafael Nadal
Federer took exactly 1 hour to complete a 6-3, 6-0 victory Tuesday, qualifying for the semifinals of the ATP World Tour Finals with his most comprehensive victory over the Spaniard.
Pinned behind the baseline, Nadal found Federer's forehand unplayable. From 2-2 in the first set, Federer won 10 of the next 11 games. He finished with 28 winners to Nadal's four.
"It was a great match for me basically from start to finish," said Federer, who broke down in tears after losing to Nadal in the 2009 Australian Open final, but had no issues Tuesday at the O2 Arena. "I was able to do what I was hoping to do: dominate from the baseline, play close to the baseline, serve well, take his time away."
The winner of Thursday's match between Tsonga and Nadal will claim the other semifinal berth from Group B.
"It's not the moment to say goodbye," Nadal said. "It's the moment to keep fighting. I'm still in the tournament."
Nadal leads the head-to-head series against Federer 17-9, but Tuesday's win extended the Swiss player's dominance indoors, where he has won all four of their matches.
Nadal had an upset stomach during his three-set win over Fish on Sunday and had been unable to practice Monday because of a shoulder problem that he thought might end his tournament, but said he was in "perfect" condition against Federer.
"Today he played too good for me, and that's what happened," Nadal said. "Just accept that."
There hadn't been a 6-0 set between the two former No. 1s since Nadal routed Federer 6-1, 6-3, 6-0 to win the French Open in 2008 for his 12th win on clay in the series.
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"Sometimes it just derails for you, like it derailed for Rafa today and it did for me at the French Open," Federer said. "Everything you try doesn't work for the guy who is down; for the one who is up, he's taking more and more chances, all of that is working.
"Next thing you know, you're facing a debacle."
The 30-year-old Federer, who is targeting a record sixth title at the season-ending event and a 70th overall, extended his winning streak to 14 matches following titles in Basel and Paris. He will play Fish on Thursday in his final group match.
Fish has been struggling with a left hamstring injury that has disrupted the end of his season, although he had his chances against Nadal in his first match and against an inconsistent Tsonga.
The sixth-seeded Frenchman was twice up a break in the first set before finally taking it in a tiebreaker. Tsonga was broken at love to start the second set but then reeled off six straight games.
"It's really good to win for the first time here," said Tsonga, whose only previous appearance in the end-of-season tournament was in Shanghai three years ago.
Fish ranted at the umpire during one changeover -- although he later said it was a "friendly exchange" -- and hit his troublesome left leg with his racket several times.
"You work so hard to get here for 10 months, 10½ months," Fish said. "I get all the way here and I couldn't do the things that I wanted to do."
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press
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