ATP Finals Flashback: Roger Federer matches Ivan Lendl, Boris Becker

Roger Federer became the third player with seven ATP Finals title matches in 2011

by Jovica Ilic
ATP Finals Flashback: Roger Federer matches Ivan Lendl, Boris Becker

After seven straight seasons in the top-2, Roger Federer finished just outside that group in 2011. Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal played on a higher level that year and left Federer behind them. Roger was the quarter-finalist in 14 out of 16 tournaments played that season.

He reached his 30th consecutive Major quarter-final at the US Open but failed to lift one of the most prestigious titles for the first time since 2002. Federer lost the ground a bit after wasting a colossal lead in the quarter-final at Wimbledon against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

He struggled in the next couple of tournaments before advancing into the US Open semi-final and squandering two sets to love lead against Novak Djokovic. Roger bounced back from a terrible loss and showed the manners of a true champion.

The Swiss rattled off 17 straight victories by the end of the season and claimed titles in Basel, Paris and the ATP Finals to wrap up the year in the top-3 for the ninth consecutive year. Federer claimed his sixth and last ATP Finals crown in London, becoming the most successful player at the premium ATP event and lifting his 70th ATP crown.

Roger defeated David Ferrer 7-5, 6-3 in an hour and 26 minutes in the semi-final. Thus, he advanced into his seventh ATP Finals title match as only the third player after Ivan Lendl and Boris Becker! Roger toppled Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Rafael Nadal (lost just three games) and Mardy Fish in the round-robin stage to secure a place in the last four.

Federer was the favorite against Ferrer and beat him for the 12th time in a row to extend the run and remain on the title course. Roger dropped 14 points in ten service games, never facing a break point and keeping the pressure on the other side.

David served at 56% and could not follow Roger's numbers. The Spaniard faced eight break points and experienced three breaks to propel the Swiss into the final. Ferrer barely hit winners, although he did not spray too many mistakes.

Roger Federer reached his seventh ATP Finals title match in 2011.

Federer kept the aggression on his side and added 20 winners and Ferrer's 30 errors to his tally. Roger had the advantage in the shortest and mid-range exchanges.

He kept the points on his racquet and controlled the pace of the rallies until breaking Ferrer's resistance in set number two. The encounter kicked off with four easy holds on both sides before Roger created a break chance at 2-2.

David denied it with a crafty volley and held after Roger's backhand error. Ferrer was there to fight and grabbed the ninth game with a volley winner for a 5-4 lead. Federer faced issues behind the serve in game ten, standing two points from losing the set six times!

After many obstacles, Roger held to level the score at 5-5 and gain a massive boost. Federer grabbed his first break of serve in game 11 after Ferrer's forehand error, forging the lead and serving for the opener. Roger landed a service winner to wrap up the opener 7-5 in 50 minutes, hoping for more in set number two.

The Swiss started the second set with a return winner and an early break. He confirmed it with four winners in game two and held for 3-1 soon after. Roger earned two break points in game five, and David denied them to remain within one break deficit.

Federer held at love in game six and moved closer to the finish line. Roger fired two winners in the eighth game for a 5-3 lead, forcing David to serve to stay in the match. Federer delivered a break in game nine to celebrate his 16th victory in a row and advance into the final.

Roger Federer Ivan Lendl Boris Becker