Tennis

Federer charms fans

2012-11-12 07:29
Roger Federer (AFP)

London - Roger Federer's unique appeal showed no sign of waning on Sunday as he gate-crashed what was supposed to be Andy Murray's party in the semi-finals of the ATP World Tour Finals.

Up against Britain's first male grand slam champion for 76 years and an Olympic gold medallist for good measure, the 17,000 crowd at the O2 Arena should by rights have been roaring for Murray as he attempted to reach the final of the prestigious year-ending tournament for the first time.

As it turned out Federer charmed them with the kind of dazzling tennis that has captivated crowds around the globe for the best part of a decade in which he has won 17 grand slams.

Overpowered in the opening games and struggling to stay with the Scot, a repeat of Murray's easy victory over Federer in the Olympics final looked a possibility.

Federer, lethal indoors, however came up with just about every shot in his vast armoury to claim a 7-6 6-2 victory and will contest the year's final match for the eighth time in the last 11 years.

World number one Novak Djokovic stands between Federer and a seventh Tour Finals crown. Popular as the 25-year-old Serb is, seven-times Wimbledon champion Federer is revered in London like a favourite son.

"It's something definitely that makes playing, well, easier to be quite honest," the 31-year-old Swiss told reporters when asked if he was ever surprised by the goodwill that flows his way, whether it be in London, Paris or New York.

"I guess because I've been in the game for so long, I do have many people who just enjoy watching me play or feel like it's a throwback maybe to the back-in-the-day times when they used to play with one-handed backhands, and they like me because of those things.

"I don't know what it is, but I do get a lot of support and do it appreciate it."

"We have played here twice before, and twice the crowds were amazing, electric, and sometimes even in my favor. So today was somewhat similar again," he added.

There was plenty for his fans to admire against Murray, who after initially threatening to blow Federer off court with some forceful tennis ended up under the Swiss maestro's spell.

Federer recovered from an early break of serve before playing a superb tiebreak, setting up a set point after winning a 22-stroke rally of breathtaking quality.

Once ahead the second set became a masterclass.

A stupendous backhand half-volley from near the baseline flashed past a stunned Murray and the daring nature of Federer's charges to the net were a reminder of an age when volleying was regarded as an art form.

"Obviously they don't serve and volley as much anymore," Federer said. "This allows you to throw in the occasional chip and charge. It's a great feeling if it works.

"Today it worked out, so I'm happy. Don't know if I'm going to throw in those kind of plays tomorrow. But Novak is probably going to have a word to say about that."

NEXT ON SPORT24X

Sharapova survives scare

2014-04-23 07:28

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
3 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 
 
Featured Blog

The stock of Bulls and Sharks 2014 Super Rugby jerseys are slowly becoming available after the festive season break, writes blogger Baylion.

Latest blogs
Vote

Which is your favourite Grand Slam of the year?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

TV schedule Plan your couch time with our searchable sport TV guide

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.