March 7, 2014
Sublime Federer thrashes Nadal in London
Holder Roger Federer produced an hour of sublime quality to crush Rafa Nadal 6-3 6-0 at the ATP World Tour Finals on Tuesday and clinch a place in the last four with a match to spare.
The 17,500-capacity crowd crammed into the O2 would have expected something longer from the eagerly anticipated 26th clash of the great rivals but the 60 minutes of magic Federer served up will live long in their memories.
Firing winners to all corners of the court, the Swiss 16-times grand slam champion was simply unstoppable as he recorded his most emphatic victory against the man who had beaten him in 17 of their previous encounters.
"This win ranks high because it's against my biggest rival, probably," Federer told reporters. "It was a great match for me from start to finish. I've felt the power of Rafa in the past, so this is a great match for me, a nice win."
World number two Nadal now faces a win or bust clash with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Thursday in his final Group B match after the dangerous Frenchman Tsonga produced fireworks of his own to beat American Mardy Fish 7-6 6-1 and stay in contention.
Federer's dazzling display softened the blow for the home crowd and organisers after Andy Murray withdrew from the blue-riband tournament when his superb season was cut short by a groin injury.
Murray, the world number three, announced that he was pulling out after aggravating the injury during his opening Group A defeat against Spain's David Ferrer on Monday.
Serbia's world number nine Janko Tipsarevic, the on-site alternate, will take Murray's place for the remaining matches in Group A and will get to play his compatriot Novak Djokovic.
There was something of a novelty value about that match as it was the first time the two dominant players of the last decade had met with neither at number one in the ATP rankings and the first time they had met in a round-robin match.