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Udayan Nag
Tuesday , November 29, 2011 at 15 : 34

What more could Federer have asked for?


Three successive titles at the end of the season, rivals falling by the wayside and a record sixth ATP Finals crown.

After not having won a single major in the year for the first time since 2002, and having dropped outside the top three on the ATP rankings, Roger Federer performed the ultimate redemption act by topping Jo-Wilfried Tsonga for the third time in three Sundays, having already beaten the Frenchman in the Paris Masters and the group stage of the World Tour Finals in London.

Apart from getting back to winning ways, and following up on his triumphs at Basel and Paris, the 16-time grand slam winner will be well served by the fact that the top three in the world who were seeded above him, in the year-end event, did not even make it to the last-four stage.

While a groin injury put an end to Andy Murray's hopes of attaining glory in front of his home crowd, world number one and unquestionably the star of the year, Novak Djokovic was sent crashing out of the tournament as a result of back-to-back losses to David Ferrer and countryman, Janko Tipsarevic.

Second seed, Rafael Nadal was well below par in the tournament, suffering a crushing defeat at the hands of long-time rival Federer, and then with a semi-final place at stake, was unable to raise the bar and went down to Tsonga in his final round robin match.

Fedex on the other hand was in a class of his own throughout the week-long competition, and exorcised a few demons along the way.

Having failed to convert a couple of match points during his semi-final clash against Djokovic at this year's US Open, the Swiss ace was in a similar position against Tsonga in the final on Sunday, where he failed to serve out the match in the second set, and squandered a match point in the tie-break that followed.

No wonder the emotions were so evident when Federer actually managed to close it out in the third.

The former world number one has also been quietly going about his business, aided by a style of play which gives him a definite edge over the other top guns, who have been grappling with injuries off and on in the season, and over the years.

Having reclaimed the number three position on the rankings chart, and with the depth in the men's game having gone up a notch, Roger Federer, with his latest success has made the 2012 season a riveting prospect.


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