Roger Federer made a debut at the Paris Masters in 2000, and he struggled to show his best tennis despite having everything in his arsenal for a notable result under a roof in Bercy. Roger's first Paris Masters semi-final came in 2010 when he wasted no less than five match points in a thrilling clash against Gael Monfils, returning a year later eager to chase the title he was missing.
Federer won the Basel title in the previous week, gathering momentum and performing on a high level in the French capital. Roger defeated Adrian Mannarino, Richard Gasquet, and Juan Monaco in the opening three matches to advance into the second straight Paris Bercy semi-final against Tomas Berdych.
It was the 14th meeting between the Swiss and the Czech, and Federer earned the tenth victory over a former champion. Roger needed an hour and 20 minutes to claim a 6-4, 6-3 triumph, arranging the clash against another former champion Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
Serving at 70%, Federer lost ten points in nine service games, facing no break points and mounting pressure on the other side of the net. Tomas could not follow that pace, struggling on the second serve and getting broken three times to propel the Swiss into the title match.
Roger had over 30 winners and ten unforced errors, taming his strokes nicely and dominating the more extended rallies to move over the top and remain on the title course.
In 2011, Roger Federer took down Tomas Berdych in the Paris Masters semi-final.
Tomas sprayed a forehand error in the first game to suffer a break before Roger held at love with a volley winner to extend the advantage and settle into a nice rhythm.
Berdych survived two break chances in the third game to avoid an even more significant deficit and landed an ace to get his name on the scoreboard. Delivering fury from both serve and forehand, Federer was rattling off one good hold after another and fired a service winner to open a 5-3 gap.
Standing two points away from losing the set, Tomas landed two powerful serves to close the ninth game and reduce the deficit. Still, Federer stayed calm and closed the opener with a forehand winner in game ten for 6-4 after 45 minutes.
The Czech netted a forehand in the second set's opening game to give serve away and allowed the Swiss to open a 2-0 gap with a quick hold and another unreturned serve. A forehand down the line winner pushed Federer 3-1 up ahead of another commanding hold with an ace down the T line to forge a 4-2 advantage.
In game seven, Berdych saved a break chance to remain within one break deficit and fell 5-3 down when Federer painted another forehand crosscourt winner. Playing on a high level from start to finish, Roger sealed the deal with another break in game nine, roaring into the final and hoping to repeat this performance against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.