The 17-time Grand Slam champion won his record 40th match at the tournament, defeating Janko Tipsarevic 6-3, 6-1 Tuesday in his opening Group B match.
Federer lost only eight points on his serve under the roof of the O2 Arena while converting four of his nine break points in the event that features the top eight players in the world.
‘’Obviously, come in knowing that I’ve played so well past years, I expect myself also to be at a solid level,’’ said Federer, who also won his seventh Wimbledon title this year and won a silver medal at the London Olympics. ‘’I’ve had a good year. It’s true, I feel like I’m striking the ball well after today. I hope it’s a sign for more to come.’’
A day after Andy Murray made his return to Britain for the first time since winning the US Open, the crowd got into Tuesday’s match, complete with cowbells ringing and constant chanting for Federer.
‘’I’m very, very honoured, really, and very proud in some ways to be so well liked by so many fans around the world, just not in one particular place or one country,’’ Federer said. ‘’It really seems to be everywhere I go I get a lot of fan support.’’
The Swiss star didn’t disappoint them, looking like he was right at home right from the start.
He held at love to open the match and broke Tipsarevic for a 2-0 lead that held the rest of the way. In the second set, Tipsarevic held serve to start, but couldn’t win another game as Federer dazzled the fans with a couple of behind-the-back shots off Tipsarevic serves that had nipped the net.