A bit late, but better late that never.
On Sunday, Roger won his 69th career title and his very first Paris Bercy Masters title by defeating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 61 76(3). I could see how much it meant to Roger to finally win this title, and I'm so happy for him that he was able to do it. I felt like it was a must-win match for Roger, and he must have felt the same way because he started out on fire by winning the first set 6-1. In the second set, Jo raised the level of his game and breezed through his service games, and it was Roger that had to dig deep to get through a few of his service games. At the end of the set, Roger turned it on just when he needed to and won 16 of the final 23 points to take the match 7-3 in the tiebreak, a tiebreak in which he got out to a 6-1 lead. Tsonga would have made the match really competitive had he been better in the first set, but I could see that it took him a while to find his legs after the tiring match vs Isner the day before. The problem with that is, Roger starts so fast that you can't afford to take the first 4 games off or else he will take the match over.
Perhaps what amazed me more than anything in this match was the fact that the French crowd was cheering more for Roger than they were for Tsonga. Now, Fed is always the most popular player wherever he goes, but I think that in Paris they love him more than any other, and treat him like one of their own. I know the atmosphere in Paris two years ago when Roger won the French Open was outstanding, and this was kind of similar. It really is something else when you think how many fans Roger has. I think he has to be the most popular of this generation, especially because tennis is a worldwide game and wherever Roger goes he gets the biggest cheers and the most adoring fans. Personally, I'm proud to be a Fedfan and be one of the millions that support him no matter what. There is something about Fed in that our admiration of him brings us closer together and creates a bond.
With the Paris win, Federer has now won 12 straight matches and has all the momentum in the world heading into London, where he will need to be sharp as he has 1500 points to defend. I won't talk about London just yet, as I'll preview it at a later time, but I will say that Roger is clearly the favourite heading into the World Tour Finals with his recent play. Djokovic has been injured since September, Nadal is not a great indoor player (though he will be ready to play his best), and Murray must contend with the great expectations his country and finally come through in a big tournament.
Anyway, I am so happy Roger won in Bercy and I'm even more thrilled that he looks in great form heading into London. It should be a superb event and I will preview the match-ups very soon. Cheers!