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Federer routs Nadal 6-3, 6-0 to ensure semifinal berth at ATP World Tour Finals
LONDON (AP) ' Roger Federer raced to one of his easiest wins over rival Rafael Nadal on Tuesday, routing the Spaniard 6-3, 6-0 to ensure a semifinal berth at the ATP World Tour Finals.
From 3-2 in the first set, Federer ran away with it and not even Nadal's trademark defensive abilities could handle the pace and accuracy of the 16-time Grand Slam champion's forehand.
The 26th match between the former No. 1s was over in exactly 1 hour. Federer finished with 28 winners to Nadal's four.
With one match to play in Group B, Federer is assured of a place in the semifinals as he targets a record sixth title at the season-ending event.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga earlier kept alive his hopes of reaching the last four by beating Mardy Fish 7-6 (4), 6-1.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.
LONDON (AP) ' Jo-Wilfried Tsonga earned his first win at the ATP World Tour Finals on Tuesday, beating Mardy Fish of the United States 7-6 (4), 6-1 in his second Group B match.
Fish seemed to be slowed by the left hamstring injury that has disrupted the end of his season, while Tsonga struggled to find consistency.
The sixth-seeded Frenchman was twice up a break in the first set before finally taking it in a tiebreaker. Tsonga was broken at love to start the second set but reeled off six straight games.
"It's really good to win for the first time here," said Tsonga, whose only previous appearance in the season-ending tournament was in Shanghai three years ago.
Defending champion Roger Federer was to face longtime rival Rafael Nadal later Tuesday at the O2 Arena.
Tsonga's win means that Federer will qualify for the semifinals if he comes out on top. Nadal will be guaranteed to advance only if he wins in straight sets.
Fish followed his opening three-set loss to Nadal with a second straight defeat.
The 29-year-old American hit his troublesome left leg with his racket several times during Tuesday's match, although the pain didn't stop him from attempting a through-the-legs shot in the tiebreaker. He also ran across the court to reach a short ball toward the end of the second set, vaulting the courtside bench.
Fish's chances of extending his first appearance at the tournament beyond Thursday's final Group B match against Federer are slim, especially given his physical condition.
"You work so hard to get here for 10 months, 10 1/2 months," Fish said. "I get all the way here and I couldn't do the things that I wanted to do."
Tsonga, beaten in three sets by Federer in his opening match, had a chance to serve out the first set at 5-4, but sent an ambitious drive volley into the crowd from the frame of his racket en route to being broken for the second time.
That was one of 21 unforced errors for Tsonga. But his 33 winners, including a glorious backhand pass to take a decisive 3-1 lead in the second set, were enough to beat a fading Fish.