Roger Federer’s 10 Steps to the WTF Title: A View From the Bleachers

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Roger Federer’s 10 Steps to the WTF Title: A View From the Bleachers

It was the last ATP event of the year, and the crème de la crème joined battle in what must surely be one of the tour’s most demanding events.

It follows 11 months of sweat and toil, in heat and rainstorm, under sun and stars, amidst laser light shows or the hush of hallowed lawns.

From early January, in the deserts of Doha and the humidity of Australia, until the finale in the cool, grey chill of London’s November, the top men in tennis fought for the privilege of this moment.

And the crowds—a quarter of a million by the end of the week—came in droves to see the final chapter played out, to see who would be crowned the best of the best in this given week, in this particular arena.

The whittling down began almost at once.

David Ferrer and Andy Roddick, No. 7 and 8, won not a match.

Tomas Berdych and Robin Soderling, No. 5 and 6, won just a single match apiece.

No. 3 and 4, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray, won two each and reached the semi-finals.

And the top two in the world, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, took up their rightful places in the final: both unbeaten.

This story follows, from the sidelines, the race from the champion’s first Round Robin match to his final victory—an end of year opportunity, to preserve a start-to-finish experience, in an amber-like afterglow.

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