By Erik Gudris / Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Roger Federer qualified for the ATP World Tour Finals in London by winning his second round match at the Paris Masters on Wednesday night.
(Photo Credit: AP)
Once again, Roger Federer will find himself bathed under the cool blue lights of the O2 Arena in London.
That's because Federer did what was necessary to book his 12th straight appearance at the season-ending event with an opening round win at the BNP Paribas Masters in Paris.
Fresh off of his run to the Basel finals, Federer required just one more victory to claim his place at the eight-man event in London next week. Standing in his way was Kevin Anderson in a second-round match that was also a first time meeting for the players.
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Federer, almost fully supported by the vocal Paris crowd, got off to a perfect start by breaking Anderson in the opening game. Federer took care of his own serve and, while up 5-4, struck a forehand winner behind a running Anderson to secure the first set 6-4.
The lanky Anderson couldn't seem to get his own game in gear despite the indoor conditions that suited his big serving game. A forehand error from Anderson handed Federer an early break in the second set for 2-1.
More errors from Anderson later in the set soon propelled Federer to a 4-1 double break lead.
But, as he has in previous matches this season, Federer made things a little harder for himself down the stretch. Serving for the match at 5-2, Federer tossed in several untimely errors to give Anderson two break points, his first in the match. He saved both, but a later shanked backhand from Federer soon put the score at 5-3. Anderson held serve easily for 5-4.
With his coach Severin Luthi and wife, Mirka, showing some obvious nerves from the stands, Federer stepped up to the line again to try and serve out the match.
But Anderson wasn't ready to give it to Federer. Connecting for winners that he wasn't making earlier, Anderson once again held break points. Federer summoned two big serves, one out wide and another down the middle, when he needed them to snuff out both break points and level the game at deuce.
Federer then cut off a short ball for a volley winner that set up his first match point.
A final backhand sent wide from Anderson helped seal the 6-4, 6-4 win for Federer who fist pumped and growled with approval after sealing his London spot.
Federer hit 23 winners and 22 unforced errors, while Anderson struck 15 winners but racked up 35 unforced in his effort.
Federer, by reaching the ATP Finals for the 12th time, now ties Ivan Lendl for the most successive appearances at the season ending event.