Paris Flashback: Roger Federer wins first and only Paris Masters crown



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Paris Flashback: Roger Federer wins first and only Paris Masters crown

Roger Federer made the Paris Masters debut at 19 in 2000, without notable results despite being one of the most explosive indoor players. Putting the Masters Cup at the top of his priorities, the Swiss entered the 2010 edition of the Paris Masters with a mediocre 7-6 score, wasting five match points in the semi-final against Gael Monfils in one of the craziest matches of the season.

Roger played well in 2011 again, winning Doha before some tight losses against Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal in the latter stages of the big tournaments, including the semi-final of the US Open in another thriller versus Novak.

After that, the great Swiss finished the season on a high note, conquering Basel, Paris and the ATP Finals to complete the year inside the top-3 behind Nadal and Djokovic. Nadal wasn't in Paris, and the top six seeds reached the quarter-final together with Juan Monaco and John Isner.

Novak Djokovic gave Jo-Wilfried Tsonga a walkover before the tournament lost Andy Murray and David Ferrer. The doors were wide open for Roger, who toppled Juan Monaco and Tomas Berdych for his first Paris Bercy final, facing the 2008 champion Jo-Wilfried Tsonga who ousted John Isner after a great battle.

In the title match, Roger took down Jo-Wilfried 6-1, 7-6 in an hour and 26 minutes on November 13 for his 18th Masters 1000 title, moving ahead of Andre Agassi, the record holder before Federer, Nadal and Djokovic all passed him.

It was the ninth match between Roger and Jo-Wilfried and already the sixth of the season, with Federer scoring his sixth victory to soften that terrible Wimbledon defeat when he was two sets to love up before going out in five sets.

It was all about him in this final, fending off all four break points and stealing Tsonga's serve twice in the opener to build an initial lead. The Frenchman couldn't follow Roger's numbers behind the initial shot, facing five break chances and suffering those two breaks in the first set before competing on a higher level in set number two to reach the tie break.

Roger Federer won the title at the Paris Masters in 2011, beating Tsonga in the final.

The home favorite had 25 winners in comparison to 21 from Roger, although that wasn't enough for a more positive outcome, spraying more forced and unforced errors than the Swiss to settle for the runner-up place.

Federer created the most significant difference in the shortest points up to four strokes, playing well on the second serve and with the initial groundstroke to leave Jo-Wilfried behind and celebrate the straight-sets victory.

Interestingly, Roger had to repel two break points in the first game of the match, blasting two service winners to avoid an early setback and settling into an excellent rhythm after that. Tsonga sent a forehand long in the second game to suffer a break, hitting a double fault at 0-3 for another poor service game and the worst start.

Roger landed four winners in game five and closed the set with a forehand winner for 6-1 after 30 minutes, hoping for more of the same in the rest of the encounter. Jo-Wilfried earned a break opportunity with a forehand crosscourt winner in the fourth game of the second set but couldn't control the second serve return, sending it long to miss a massive opportunity for a 3-1 lead.

A return winner gave Tsonga another break chance at 4-3, squandering it when his forehand landed long and allowing Roger to survive and level the score. The Frenchman served well in the second set before game nine when he offered Roger a break point, erasing it with a perfect serve&volley combo and closing the game with a service winner for a 5-4 advantage, sending the pressure back to the side of the Swiss.

Both players played well in their games after that to set up a tie break, and Federer grabbed an early mini-break when Tsonga netted an easy forehand. Two winners moved the Swiss 3-0 up, wrapping up the victory after forcing an error from Jo-Wilfried in the tenth point to celebrate his first and only Masters 1000 crown in Paris, becoming the oldest champion of this event since 1990 at 30!