Federer through after crushing Nadal

 

The head-to-head record is still heavily in his rival's favour, but Roger Federer savoured the most emphatic victory over Rafael Nadal of his career here at the O2 Arena last night. Federer became the first player in the eight-man field at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals to qualify for Saturday's semi-finals thanks to a remarkable 6-3, 6-0 victory over an opponent who had won 17 of their previous 25 matches.

In their only meeting other than in a final or semi-final since their first seven years ago, Federer triumphed in just 59 minutes. The 30-year-old Swiss produced a wonderful display of attacking tennis, striking 28 winners to Nadal's four.

"It was a great match for me basically from start to finish," Federer said afterwards. "I was able to do what I was hoping to do: dominate from the baseline, play close to the baseline, serve well, take his time away."

Nadal's previous heaviest defeat to Federer was a 6-4, 6-1 loss in this tournament in Shanghai four years ago. The 25-year-old Spaniard had won nine of their 11 subsequent meetings, including all three this year, his last loss having come in the final here 12 months ago. Federer has now won all four of their matches played indoors.

Thanks largely to their Wimbledon exploits, both players are held in great affection by the British public and from the start there was an enthusiastic atmosphere inside the arena. Federer hit a double-fault on the opening point but took charge after the first five games had gone with serve. The turning point was a superb 33-shot rally Federer won to break Nadal for a 4-2 lead.

Federer won 10 of the last 11 games and did not give Nadal a break point all match. Nadal won only nine points in the second set as the world No 2 went down to his heaviest defeat against any opponent for nearly four years. "He played too well for me," Nadal said later. "I just have to accept that."

Although Federer has not won a Grand Slam tournament for 22 months and recently dropped out of the world's top three for the first time for more than eight years, the world No 4 has been in superb form in recent weeks. He won the titles in Basle and Paris, is unbeaten in the 14 matches he has played since the US Open and is attempting to become the first player to win this title six times.

Nadal has not won a tournament for five months. He will now have to beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in their winner-takes-all final group match tomorrow if he is to make the last four here. Tsonga, having lost to Federer in his opening match, put himself back in contention with a convincing 7-6, 6-1 victory over Mardy Fish.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
Sainsbury's could roll the lorries out across its whole fleet if they are successful
tech
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Sport
Ojo Onaolapo celebrates winning the bronze medal
commonwealth games
Arts and Entertainment
Rock band Led Zeppelin in the early 1970s
musicLed Zeppelin to release alternative Stairway To Heaven after 43 years
Arts and Entertainment
High-flyer: Chris Pratt in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
filmHe was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
Arts and Entertainment
'Old Fashioned' will be a different kind of love story to '50 Shades'
film
Life and Style
fashionHealth concerns and 'pornified' perceptions have made women more conscious at the beach
Arts and Entertainment
Tracey Emin's 'My Bed' is returning to the Tate more than 15 years after it first caused shockwaves at the gallery
artTracey Emin's bed returns to the Tate after record sale
Arts and Entertainment
Smart mover: Peter Bazalgette
filmHow live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences
Environment
Neil Young performing at Hyde Park, London, earlier this month
environment
News
i100
News
Prince Harry is clearing enjoying the Commonwealth Games judging by this photo
people(a real one this time)
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz