09:39 AM GMT November 07, 2018
If justification was needed, Roger Federer truly vindicated his reputation as one of the greatest of all players on fast indoor courts, when he recorded 15 straight victories to end 2011 on an historic high.
The Swiss superstar needed to patiently wait for 10 months to lift silverware, but in November 2011 three came in succession - his fifth Swiss Indoors Basel crown, his first at the Rolex Paris Masters and then a record sixth at the Nitto ATP Finals.
In the space of two weeks, Federer got the better of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on three occasions – first in the Paris final 6-1, 7-6(3), seven days later in their first round-robin match at The O2 in London 6-2, 2-6, 6-4, then in the title match at the season finale. On 27 November, Federer recorded a 6-3, 6-7(6), 6-3 victory over Tsonga to capture his 70th tour-level title in his 100th final. View 2011 Activity
Records were shattered as 30-year-old Federer became the event’s oldest champion (previously Ilie Nastase, 29, in 1975) and broke a tie with Ivan Lendl (1981-82, 85-87) and Pete Sampras (1991, 1994, 1996-97, 99) in becoming a six-time titlist (Novak Djokovic has also since won five crowns – 2008, 2012-15). It was also Federer’s 39th match win at the Nitto ATP Finals, which tied Lendl’s mark.
"It feels very special, indeed," admitted Federer, who ended the year riding a 17-match winning streak. "I've been trying to sort of block it out for the entire tournament, the entire time I've been here in London. I just tried to recuperate from Basel and Paris and hopefully get through the round robin stages. So now it's finally sort of reality that I've been able to win six [Barclays ATP] World Tour Finals. It's an amazing feeling. I know it's one of my greatest accomplishments.
"This definitely is an amazing finish again to the season. I've never finished so strong." It was the ninth straight season that Federer had finished in the Top 3 of the ATP Rankings, knocking down Andy Murray to No. 4.
The final was watched by the Mayor of London Boris Johnson and Real Madrid footballer Cristiano Ronaldo.
Having beaten Tsonga in his opening group match, Federer then defeated No. 2 Rafael Nadal 6-3, 6-0, No. 8 Mardy Fish 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 and David Ferrer 7-5, 6-3 in the semi-finals.
Watch 2011 Final Highlights
The Nitto ATP Finals is celebrating its 10th edition at The O2 in London from 11-18 November 2018.