Roger Federer finally won the BNP Paribas Masters after nine tries this past weekend. In fact, 2011 marked the first time the Swiss even reached the finals in this Master’s event.
Nonetheless, on Sunday, the Swiss defeated Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to take the title, winning his 18th Master’s Shield. The win marked Federer’s second in a row, having just won his hometown tournament in Basel the week before.
Does this sudden momentum shift mean that Federer will become the favorite to win his sixth ATP World Tour Final in London starting next week?
The ATP Masters year-end tournament, first played in 1970, features the top eight players on the men’s tour, selected based on accumulated calendar year ATP ranking points.
The top eight men draw to create two teams with members of each four-man team competing with each other in three round-robin matches.
From each group, the two players with the best results move onto the semifinals, where the top-ranked player from each group plays the second-ranked player from the other group.
The final is contested by the winners of the semifinal contests. For his efforts, the overall winner reaps 1500 ranking points as well as the honor and prestige of winning in a field comprised of the eight best tennis players in the world.
Last year’s champion was Roger Federer, who won the tournament for the fifth time in his long, illustrious career. That moved the Swiss into a tie with Pete Sampras and Ivan Lendl, who each have five wins. Will 2011 give Federer his sixth ATP World Tour Finals Championship?
Let us review how Federer arrived at a chance for win number six.