Back in August 2008, Roger Federer lost the no. 1 spot to Rafael Nadal for the first time since February 2004, finishing the year behind the Spaniard after four straight year-end no. 1 honors. In 2009, Federer had another memorable year, getting married and becoming a father of twin girls in July.
The Swiss was very successful on the court as well, embracing his third season in the last four years with all four Major finals, lifting trophies at Roland Garros and Wimbledon to achieve a "Channel Slam" as the fourth player after Rod Laver, Bjorn Borg and Rafael Nadal.
Adding two more Masters 1000 titles in Madrid and Cincinnati, Roger did enough to pass Rafael Nadal after Wimbledon and finish as the year-end no. 1 player for the fifth time in the last six years, becoming only the third player to achieve that after Jimmy Connors and Pete Sampras!
Roger secured the honor on November 24 following the round-robin victory over Andy Murray at the ATP Finals, beating the Briton 3-6, 6-3, 6-1 and taking enough points to stay safe ahead of Rafael Nadal in the rest of the tournament.
The match lasted for an hour and 58 minutes and Federer delivered the fourth victory over Murray from ten encounters, making a nice comeback after a slow start and dominating in sets two and three to secure the second and last victory in London that week.
Andy broke Roger twice but that wasn't enough to keep him safe, struggling to find the first serve and offering the Swiss no less than 13 opportunities, getting broken five times and losing ground more and more as the match progressed.
They made a similar number of errors and Federer fired more winners, toppling the rival in the mid-range and most extended rallies to cross the finish line first and secure the triumph that made him safe in front of Rafael Nadal.
The Swiss grabbed a break in the very first game following a forehand error from Andy who broke back in the very next game thanks to a backhand winner at the net. The Briton grabbed another break in game six when Federer sprayed a backhand error, repelling two break chances in the next game and bringing it home with a smash winner that moved him 5-2 up.
Serving for the set, a home player converted the fourth set point after a service winner for a 6-3 in 42 minutes. With no room for errors, Roger delivered one good hold after another in set number two, moving in front with a forehand crosscourt winner in game six and clinching the set three games later to set up a decider.
Hitting almost 60% of the shots from inside the court in set number two, Federer was ready to attack in the final set as well, holding at love in game two and stealing Murray's serve a few minutes later to gain the lead that he confirmed with a service winner for a 3-1 advantage.
Andy gave serve away in game five as well when his volley landed long, squandering numerous game points at 1-5 and allowing Roger to seal the deal with the third straight break. "That was one of my big goals for this season and it's one of the greatest performances I think I've achieved, especially after getting married, having twin girls and reaching all four Major finals," says Federer after securing the fifth year-end no.
1 honor. "Playing so well at the most important moments, it's been the key this year, together with staying healthy. After having a rough 2008, it feels so great to make a comeback this year, dominate and play at the top when the depth in tennis is on a high level at the moment. I think it's a wonderful achievement."