“Always Been A Tough Player”: Roger Federer on Facing Rafael Nadal at ATP Finals

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Roger Federer is the King when it comes to the ATP Finals. He’s won the tournament a record six-times but is unfortunately not competing in the 2020 edition. As the event is taking place in London, Federer connected with legends Tim Henman and Bjorn Borg over a video call to discuss the memorable moments he’s enjoyed over the years. 

The ATP Finals have always been Federer’s favorite tournament, apart from Wimbledon of course! He qualified for the event 14 consecutive times from 2002-15 which is a massive achievement in itself. 

Roger Federer
LONDON, ENGLAND: Roger Federer of Switzerland celebrates victory after his singles match against Novak Djokovic of Serbia during Day Five of the Nitto ATP Finals at The O2 Arena on in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

It speaks a lot about consistency and the Swiss Maestro’s determination to secure the year-end title. We’ve seen the tournament being held in different venues since its inception in 1970. However, Federer’s love for the event has remained the same and it is everlasting! 

“Honestly it doesn’t matter where it (the event) moves, any player will go where it goes,” Federer said. “I would go to the moon if I could.”

Roger Federer on his fruitful achievements at the ATP Finals 

2002 was the first time Roger Federer broke into the ATP Finals scene. Leyton Hewitt and Andre Agassi dominated the calendar winning five titles each. But Federer wowed everyone at the ATP Finals with a 3-0 record in the round-robin but he fell valiantly in the semi-finals. 

“Qualifying for the Tennis Masters Cup (that year) was a huge deal,” mentioned Federer. “It opened my belief that I could beat the best baseline players from the baseline. 2003 was a true breakthrough tournament for me at the time.”

After making a memorable debut, Federer went on to win the next two editions. He beat Andre Agassi in 2003 and Leyton Hewitt in 2004 to secure back-to-back titles. 2003-07 will probably be his best years in the tournament as he won four trophies in five years.

Federer has always won the event in pairs. Back-to-back titles have been his fashion. The Swiss native repeated the same in 2010 and 2011 by defeating Rafael Nadal and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga respectively. 

“There’s always pressure when I play Rafa indoors because I’m the favourite,” Federer mentioned. “That changes depending on how things are going, but he’s always been a tough player for me to play against.”

The 2010 victory ranks as one of Federer’s favorite as he loves competing in the O2 arena. 2020 marks just the second occasion where Federer has not made it to the year-end tournament. 

Novak Djokovic has a chance at matching Federer’s tally of six titles if he can win it this time. However, Roger Federer will always remain the best to compete at the tournament owing to his frequent participation and winning record! 

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