LONDON (AP) – Roger Federer finished the group stage at the ATP World Tour Finals with a perfect record after beating Mardy Fish 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 Thursday for his third win at the season-ending tournament.
Federer started the match with the same kind of ruthless efficiency that helped him beat Rafael Nadal in just one hour on Tuesday, chasing Fish all over the court with his forehand and breaking three times in the first set.
But the Swiss star’s accuracy and energy levels dropped in the second, when he started spraying his backhand into the net to let Fish back into the match. The American, looking to leave London with a consolation victory after losing his first two round-robin matches in his debut appearance at the event, jumped out to a 5-2 lead and served out the set when Federer netted a backhand.
But Federer immediately took control of the decider, breaking for a 2-0 lead with a forehand passing shot. The fourth-seeded Federer lost just two points on his serve the rest of the way and converted his first match point when Fish shanked a backhand wide.
“He really started to zone in on many shots” in the second set, Federer said. “I thought he was able to keep that up in the third set. So I was happy to get the crucial break early in the third and maybe cruise a bit more.”