The Lion is back on top of the heap. And you could literally watch Roger Federer summon his Inner Lion today during the match against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at the ATP World Tour Finals today at the O2 in London. Yesterday, I was following the semifinals on my computer, just with the score – and still could tell just the moment Roger decided it was time for that match against David Ferrer to be done.
Roger is a Leo – August 8 – and that man decidedly likes to win. Today was his 100th time playing a final as a professional, and he won for the 70th time. Sixteen of those have been Grand slams, another 14 or 15 have been Masters Series wins, just below the Slams level. (Our tournament in Cincinnati is a Masters Series.)
Today he won the first set in Roger fashion – went along on serve, testing Tsonga here and there, and then suddenly cut loose, broke him and took the set. Second set looked to be about the same, until Tsonga got a little testy about the whole thing, and took that set. Roger was making more mistakes by then, which continued in the third and final set. He was barely making any first serves, and yet still was not losing. Then he shook himself, stood up straighter, got crisper and more Roger-like – and took it all at the end of a crowd-pleasing and tough match.
He even proclaimed himself happy, and said it was the best end of the season he had ever had. He is still an incredible tennis player, even more so in some ways, because his will makes things happen that his body has a bit more trouble with. I am happy, too, after watching today’s match.