Roger Federer v David Ferrer as it happened

Roger Federer reaches the semi-finals of the ATP World Tour Finals in London with a straight sets victory over David Ferrer.

8 November 2012 Last updated at 21:43 GMT

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As it happened

  1. 1623: 

    Federer heads back to the locker room satisfied with another straight-sets win which has secured his passage into the semi-finals of this season ending finale for a 10th time. I think now is a perfect time to take a break before we return for Juan Martin del Potro and Janko Tipsarevic's round-robin tie at about 19:30 GMT. Cheerio for now.

  2. 1611: 

    Murray will take to the court against Tsonga on Friday evening (not before 19:45 GMT), while Novak Djokovic's clash with Tomas Berdych will be the highlight of the afternoon, at about 13:45.

    Djokovic has been talking about ending the year as the planet's best and admits being world number one is a considerable achievement "considering the competitiveness of 2012". He goes on to say the sport is "on a high" because of "great players" and "great quality tournaments".

  3. 1607: 

    Andy Murray has been chatting before Friday's clash with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. "There's been a couple of matches against top players so I need to make sure I rest and recover well," says the third seed. "Who knows what the scenario will be when I get on the court but I'll just try my best to win. There are no easy matches here and you need to be prepared for some tough battles."

  4. 1605:  
    Jonathan Overend, BBC Sport

    "You have to admire David Ferrer's enthusiasm at the end of this long, hard season. He's played more matches than anyone else and he still has the Davis Cup final to come."

  5. 1604:  
    Tim Henman, BBC Sport

    "Federer thought he played a great match. I think we might have to get him the video. There were 39 unforced errors. He served about 40% in the first set, and I think he got that up to around 55% in the second. It's the sign of a great champion that he can still get out in two sets against the fifth-best in the world even when he is not at his best."

  6. 1604: 

    Federer becomes the first man to qualify for the last four and continues his unbeaten record against Ferrer. That's 14 victories in 14 matches against the world number five. What does the Spaniard have to do to beat the world number two? Who knows. Ferrer should have taken advantage of his opponent's faltering first serve and will rue not being more ruthless on break points.


    Belleoftheforum on Twitter: "Great entertainment. Ferrer is a real terrier. Closest match I've seen between them."

  8. 1559: 

    Roger Federer after reaching the semi-finals with a straight sets win over David Ferrer: "I'm extremely happy, it's a tough match. David's been on a great run, winning in Paris was so deserving. It was a long match and I'm extremely happy. I played a great match. You say I've qualified and I'm obviously relieved and thrilled that that's the case. Ferrer is so respected by the fellow competitors. I enjoy playing against him, not because the 14-0 [head-to-head record] but because he's a great guy and a great competitor."

    Tim Henman, BBC Sport

    "We talked about how poorly Roger Federer had served during the match, and then in the tie break, he comes up with five consecutive first serves - two aces, two unreturnable. I've seen this film before."

    Federer 6-4 6-6 (7-5) Ferrer

    Both players up the ante in the tie-break. Ferrer, grunting like a foghorn, ends a 19-shot rally with a irretrievable forehand winner. Federer responds with an equally jaw-dropping forehand winner into the corner for 2-2. The Swiss ekes advantage at 4-2, then engineers match point with a clinical ace down the wings. Ferrer, undeterred, earns a reprieve with a whizzing forehand but the Spaniard eventually crumbles, directing a return beyond the baseline.

    Jonathan Overend, BBC Sport

    "Excellent recovery from Ferrer! This is not over yet!"

    Tim Henman, BBC Sport

    "It really is great resistance from David Ferrer. He played two very poor points but was able to respond with the next four."

    *Federer 6-4 6-6 Ferrer

    A groan of despair from Ferrer as a double fault gives Federer the upper hand at 0-30. The duo embark on a baseline slug-fest, and it's Federer who falters by sending a forehand long. The Spaniard goes on to win four points on the trot thanks to sublime baseline play and we're into a tie-break.


    Matt Sutton on Twitter: "Never a dull match in the ATP World Tours!!"

    Federer 6-4 6-5 Ferrer*

    Ferrer seems to be able to fetch and retrieve all day long, but is unable to outwit Federer as the second set nears a conclusion. The Swiss mixing play nicely, as ruthless from the net as he is from the baseline, and heads to the changeover a contented man.

    Tim Henman, BBC Sport

    "Ferrer certainly hasn't got distracted or frustrated. He's kept plugging away. Some brilliant tennis."

    *Federer 6-4 5-5 Ferrer

    Ferrer opens proceedings with a nerveless overhead volley, but blunders with a double fault for 15-15. "Yes," says the fourth seed as Federer directs a forehand long for 40-15 and he winds up the game with a super backhand volley into the corner.

    Miles Maclagan, BBC Sport analyst

    "A very clean game from Federer. That was a little bit ominous. This was the stage in the first set that he chose to strike. He had made a few unforced errors but really tightened them up in the 10th game."

    Federer 6-4 5-4 Ferrer*

    The Wimbledon champion knows how to test a live texter's typing skills, holding to love with ease to quickly turn the pressure back on his opponent. How will Ferrer respond?

    *Federer 6-4 4-4 Ferrer

    Fourth seed Ferrer seems to be tapping into his almost infinite reserves of energy, but his nemesis is now the master of the long rallies and ekes a 0-30 advantage. The grimacing Spaniard, swinging from the hips, levels at 30-30 by sheer force of will. Federer fails to keep a return on target and a clenched first from Ferrer suggests the Spaniard is both relieved and overjoyed to have levelled.

    Miles Maclagan, BBC Sport analyst

    "Federer's made a few more unforced errors than he would have liked today. But there is the possibility that he will start to cut those down as we move towards the end of the set, and that could be big trouble for David Ferrer here. Ferrer has made a few unforced errors too, but he's had to, because he's had to be more aggressive. It's not enough just to play solid tennis against Federer."

    Federer 6-4 4-3 Ferrer*

    With his opponent already 40-0 to the good, Ferrer, sweat dripping from every pore, puffs out his cheeks before taking position on the baseline to face another Federer bullet. The Spaniard does manage to trouble to scoreboard, but can do little but roar in frustration as Federer secures the most trouble-free of holds.

    Tim Henman, BBC Sport

    "Ferrer has had 10 break points and won one. Federer has had four break points and won two. It's been those opportunities on which Federer has been able to capitalise, and that has been the difference so far."

    *Federer 6-4 3-3 Ferrer

    Oh la la! Ferrer scurries towards the tape to retrieve a drop shot, but the imposing Federer simply taps away the Spaniard's attempted pass down the line with consummate ease. It's as good as it gets for Federer, though, who can't quite manage to outwit his dogged opponent.

    Miles Maclagan, BBC Sport analyst

    "It's quite amazing how Federer can get so much whip on the ball with one hand. His timing and technique are exquisite."

    Federer 6-4 3-2 Ferrer*

    Federer is certainly not in tip-top form, his first serve continues to falter and the second seed has so far made over 30 unforced errors. His rival is unable to take advantage of the dip, however, and Federer holds to 15.


    Paul Dargan on Twitter: "The difference between Federer and Ferrer? An extra 'e' and a 'd' instead of another 'r'... "

    *Federer 6-4 2-2 Ferrer

    If Ferrer continues to hit the ball with such venom the yellow might self-combust. At the other end of the net, grace and deftness of touch seems to have the upper hand when a delicate backhand grazes the line, engineering the Swiss a break point. Ferrer pulverises the Federer threat, however, securing the game when his opponent nets.

    Tim Henman, BBC Sport

    "I think the best part of Federer's game would be his forehand. When you talk about taking an aspect of somebody else's game, you would probably start with a Karlovic serve or an Isner serve, but they're a freak of nature really. The most devastating shot you could use the most often would be the Federer forehand."

    Miles Maclagan, BBC Sport analyst

    "I would love to know which player has covered the most ground in the match so far. I wouldn't like to say who it was."

    Federer 6-4 2-1 Ferrer*

    The Spaniard will be heartened at the sight of his opponent making a 28th unforced error, giving him a whiff at 15-30. Federer, though, takes control from the baseline, and even the tireless Ferrer can do little to prevent the Swiss, who has plenty of support at the O2, from nudging ahead.

    Tim Henman, BBC Sport

    "In the context of this match, Ferrer will be telling himself that he doesn't have to do much differently. He just has to take his chances."

    *Federer 6-4 1-1 Ferrer

    Sometimes serving is easy, eh, even against one of the greats. The Spaniard holds to love to quickly level matters.

    Federer 6-4 1-0 Ferrer*

    As you'd expect, the right-hander from Javea is refusing to throw in the towel and he has two break points. Federer senses danger and deems it an appropriate time to scurry towards the net and his ploy pays dividends as he takes the game to deuce. The second seed holds with a drop shot as cute as a litter of kittens, and it's another opportunity missed for Ferrer who has managed to clinch merely one of 10 break points.

    Miles Maclagan, BBC Sport analyst

    "Ferrer will keep fighting away, and he will be heartened by that first set. He was right in there at times."


    Richard Wilson on Twitter: "Although Federer, leads 13-0 against Ferrer - the more scary fact is that Federer leads 27-3 in sets. David is up against it."

    Jonathan Overend, BBC Sport

    "The first set took 49 minutes, and frankly the first 48 meant absolutely nothing. Federer chose that final game to play some of his best tennis."

    *Federer 6-4 Ferrer

    Is this when Federer turns the screw? Yup. The 31-year-old effortlessly notches three break points and Ferrer's earlier endeavours mean nothing when matters are settled in Federer's favour.

    Miles Maclagan, BBC Sport analyst

    "Federer has been playing well but there have been a few too many unforced errors, and you would think there is going to come a point where he will tighten that up."

    Federer 5-4 Ferrer*

    More footballers at the O2 this afternoon than there usually is on a Saturday night in Mayfair. Chelsea's Juan Mata the latest to be captured on camera. He seems to be enjoying himself, and so he should - he's sitting in one of the expensive seats. "OUT!" bellows a line judge, letting us all know that Ferrer's wild backhand was long and Federer is a game away from grabbing the first set.

    Tim Henman, BBC Sport

    "The question everyone wants to know the answer to is: Can Federer keep improving? The answer is that he's got to. If he doesn't, he won't stay at the top of the game, with players such as Murray and Djokovic around. There's a little doubt about Nadal at the moment. But they're getting better all the time. Federer knows he's not going to play forever, and he wants to take advantage of his final years."

    *Federer 4-4 Ferrer

    "Let's go, Roger, let's go," shout the Swiss' supporters after watching their man dash to the net to dab away a straightforward volley beyond Ferrer. From 0-30 we're at 30-30 and the defending champion ratchets a break point when a Ferrer forehand bounces long. The Spaniard, advancing to the net with regularity, stretches every sinew to dab Federer's backhand pass back across the net and the game is wrapped up when Federer's attempted lob is way off target.

    Federer 4-3 Ferrer*

    The second seed's first serve a tad out of tune, but his second serve is on song and the Swiss stops the rot by comfortably holding before I can even manage to put a full stop at the end of this sentence. Fabrice Muamba and Sir Ian McKellen seem unimpressed, though, or maybe it's just the music selection.


    Travis on Twitter: "Federer currently leaking a lot of unforced errors. Ferrer has to take advantage otherwise he'll get smashed when Roger's warmed up."

    *Federer 3-3 Ferrer

    I'm just speculating but I don't think this is how Federer intended for the match to pan out. He directs a backhand into the net - but a double fault gives the Swiss a sniff at 30-30. Loose-limbed groundstrokes from Ferrer, though, keeps his rival on his heels, and on the baseline, with the Spaniard once again coming out on top of the long rallies. Federer digs in to take the game to deuce but wonderful serving helps the 30-year-old Spaniard reduce the arrears and we're all-square.

    Jonathan Overend, BBC Sport

    "His eighth break point, and he takes it. Ferrer is back in the match. Impressive."

    Federer 3-2 Ferrer*

    Federer's first serve is creaking like an old ship and his opponent, brimming with energy across the net, has two break points. He squanders one by plonking a volley into the tape but gobbles up his second chance by forcing Federer to send a looping forehand into the tramlines. Interesting. Very interesting.

    *Federer 3-1 Ferrer

    The camera focuses on Ferrer's parents and senior Ferrer seems to be shaking his head, perhaps still unhappy at the perfect Ferrer return which was wrongly called out by the line judge in the previous game. His son performing well against his bete noire, holding to love.


    Dennis Peter on Twitter: "Ferrer can't hold his serve but he's good at getting into Roger's serve."

    Tim Henman, BBC Sport

    "Federer's missing all these first serves - Ferrer has got to be taking advantage. But it was a very poor call by the umpire in that game. The umpires are meant to make calls when it's a clear mistake."


    Freddie Clamp on Twitter: "Ferrer has to win the battle for the real estate. Federer, if pushed back, is fragile."

    Federer 3-0 Ferrer*

    Federer gliding around the court, sending Ferrer lunging hither and thither before scampering towards the net only to find Valencia's favourite son forming an impenetrable wall; the Spaniard whipping a marvellous passing shot beyond the statuesque Federer. Double fault Federer... Federer's serve faltering... Ferrer squanders two break points... A sublime return into the corner for break point number three... The Spaniard, grunting and growling, but the serene Swiss rescues the situation with a reflex forehand which grazes the line. Net cord favours Federer and after over 10 minutes of toiling, Federer finally fends off his opponent.

    Miles Maclagan, BBC Sport analyst

    "Ferrer knows that if he gives Federer time to hit his shots, he's dead. It's against logic, but Ferrer knows that he might have to shorten the points."


    Joseph Murphy on Twitter: "Will Ferrer be able to say, 'You don't beat David Ferrer 14 times in a row'?"

    *Federer 2-0 Ferrer

    Ferrer saw his three break points disappear at lightning speed and the usually tigerish 30-year-old is now wobbling, gifting Federer break point with a clumsy double fault. He then directs a forehand beyond the baseline and the Federer hex continues.

    Tim Henman, BBC Sport

    "You talk about how important Ferrer's mental approach is. To be 0-40 and not break - he will be walking back to his chair thinking: 'Not again.'"

    Federer 1-0 Ferrer*

    Opening couple of blows goes Ferrer's way, and an uncharacteristic lazy forehand from Federer gifts the Spaniard three break points. The Wimbledon champion reins in his opponent, though; coming out on top of a 17-shot rally, then scurrying to the net to swat away an overhead volley and nonchalantly directing a magical backhand winner down the line. Deuce. A loose-limbed forehand from the Spaniard has a tad too much venom and the fourth seed then fails to retrieve a pin-point Federer forehand into the corner.

    Jonathan Overend, BBC Sport

    "There are question marks as to whether David Ferrer will be feeling fatigued. But what about his confidence? This will be his 12th match in 16 days, and he's won the last 11. But that confidence will be wiped out as soon as he looks at his record against Federer!"


    Federer and Ferrer head towards their chairs for final preparations before the 14th edition of this rivalry begins... We're seconds away.


    From Rich K, via text on 81111: "Is there anyone in the world better at timing his preparation for the big tournaments than Feds? Two set lesson coming up!"

  61. 1406: 
    David Law, BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "People seem so excited to see Federer on the court. It's almost as if they can't believe he's real."

  62. 1406:  
    Tim Henman, BBC Sport

    "People ask how Roger Federer is able to maintain his motivation. He's 31 years of age, he's got more money than he'll ever spend, he's won everything he could ever have wanted. But he loves the challenge of competing and beating the up-and-coming players."


    From Kim in Maidenhead, via text on 81111: "Aaah, how cute are the kids walking in with the players at the ATP World Tour Finals? Mind you, the balls they're carrying are almost as big as them."

  64. 1403: 

    The players emerge through the dry ice to booming music, as if they're on X-Factor, but fortunately Louis Walsh and Simon Cowell aren't by their side. The pair are currently warming up: Ferrer, wearing a radioactive green t-shirt and navy bandana, gently practising his serves before acknowledging the crowd with a shy wave when his name is announced on the loud speaker.

  65. 1400:  
    Miles Maclagan, BBC Sport analyst

    "This is the big match of the day. People just love watching Roger Federer. We've seen so much of him in Britain. Even if he does win comfortably, as he did against Janko Tipsarevic on Tuesday, it's still a show to watch. It's a bit like going to the theatre."


    From Dan in Worcestershire, via text on 81111: "Ferrer is playing very well at the moment but I just can't see him beating Federer, especially indoors."

  67. 1358: 

    Don't feel too sorry for Ferrer over his abysmal record against his opponent this afternoon because the Spaniard has enjoyed the most successful year of his career, reaching two Grand Slam semi-finals and earning over $3m in prize money for his endeavours. But, according to Boris Becker, Federer, Djokovic and Murray are a "level above" the 30-year-old when the trio are in tip-top form.

  68. 1353:  
    Tim Henman, BBC Sport

    "David Ferrer has had an unbelievable year. He's coming here on the back of wins in Valencia and Paris, he's full of confidence and he's playing so well. But I wonder if he will be a little fatigued. He's got to hope Federer has a bit of an off-day. He's got to be positive, and he's got to have the belief that he can beat Federer. But I don't see it happening."


    Tiana Raviranjan on Twitter: "Oh the tennis is on.. Goodbye revision!"

  70. 1349: 

    A straight-sets victory for Federer this afternoon will ensure the six-time champion qualifies for the semi-finals. But what about 'our Andy', I hear some of you ask. According to Piers Newbery - whose hair is standing up like a toilet brush after spending half the night trying to fathom Friday's permutations - there are 10 different qualification scenarios in Murray's group but a straight-sets win for the Brit over Tsonga would "keep things simple".

  71. 1344: 

    If you wanted game-by-game coverage of this match in written form then you've come to the right place. But, don't forget, you can also watch the action on this very website and on BBC Two, while you can listen to the BBC 5 live sports extra team on your wireless. As always, your predictions, thoughts and general chit-chat are much welcomed so smash us a tweet using the hashtag #bbctennis or lob a text on 81111.


    BBC Sport's Piers Newbery at the ATP Tour World Finals: "Decent 5-a-side team emerging at the O2 - Szczesny, Nolan, Mata, Aguero, Chamakh. Coach Muamba, Bear Grylls and Ian McKellan on the bench."

  73. 1338: 

    Both players began their quest for the title with victories. Federer's 6-3 6-1 win over Janko Tipsarevic was a record 40th victory in the season finale for the second seed, while Ferrer needed three sets to overcome the towering Juan Martin del Potro 6-3 3-6 6-4. Federer's impervious record over the Spaniard, though, makes him this afternoon's overwhelming favourite, but sometimes the unexpected does happen so don't lose faith if you're cheering for the underdog.

  74. 1330: 

    How do you solve a problem like Roger Federer? That is the question David Ferrer has probably been agonising over for the last 24 hours. The Spaniard has failed to find a solution to his conundrum in 13 previous attempts. Be it indoors or outdoors, clay court or hard court - and even on carpet - Federer is the master of the world number five. It's as if the Swiss star has cast a hex over the 30-year-old, but will today be the day Ferrer finally breaks the spell and experiences his first career victory over the defending champion? Will it be lucky number 14 for the fourth seed?

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