Roger Federer got his ATP Finals tournament up and running after a straight-sets win against 7-6(2), 6-3 Italian Matteo Berrettini on Tuesday evening. The Swiss is set to play against Novak Djokovic in an all-important and high profile year-ender clash.
The match lasted for 78 minutes and it was enough for Federer to keep his chances for qualifying in the next round healthy. Both players, coming off a defeat in the first round, stuck to their game plan and their serve, not allowing the opponent to break and grab a lead. The first set entered the tie break and that's when the legendary player stepped up his game to grap an early and healthy lead to close the set.
The pressure was growing on the Italian and he finally cracked right in the first game of the set second set. The path for the victory was cleared for Federer and he did not look back, closing the set and registering his 58th win at the World Tour Finals. He has won the tournament on six previous occasions. After the win, he said, "It’s unusual to lose and then come back to play again, but I did it last year, so I have some experience. I’m very happy with how I played today. Matteo was always going to be difficult with his big serve. I was pretty clean in my own service games and I think that helped today. I hope I can keep it up and maybe even play a bit better in the next match. There's no reason to be too down [after losing to Thiem]. We came here to play three matches and give it all we have. It was the big goal of the season to qualify here, which we did. I had a day off and there’s plenty of ways to get rid of that loss. Hanging out with my kids will do that for me. I was ready and prepared today. That’s what matters the most right now.”
Berrettini is still looking for his first win at the World Tour Finals, which will make him the first Italian to win a match on the set.
Federer will play Djokovic whereas Berrettini will play Dominic Thiem on Thursday in the final match of the round-robin format of the tournament. The four players make the Bjorn Borg group.