Roger Federer made a debut at the Paris Masters in 2000, struggling 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.
In the previous week, Federer won Basel's title, gathering momentum and performing strong in the French capital. In the opening three matches, Roger defeated Adrian Mannarino, Richard Gasquet and Juan Monaco, advancing into the second straight Paris Bercy semi-final and facing Tomas Berdych.
It was the 14th meeting between the Serb and the Czech, with Federer scoring 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 with 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 couldn't follow that pace, struggling on the second serve and getting broken thrice to propel the Swiss into the title match.
Roger had more than 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 2010, 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, landing 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, firing a service winner to open a 5-3 gap.
Standing two points away from losing set, Tomas fired 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, hoping for more of the same in set number two.
The Czech netted a forehand in the second set's opening game to give serve away, allowing 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 in front ahead of another commanding hold with an ace down the T line to forge a 4-2 advantage.
Berdych saved a break point in game seven to remain within one break deficit, falling 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.