Roger Federer of Switzerland arrives on court to play Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia during their ATP World Tour Finals singles tennis match at the O2 Arena in London, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012. (AP Photo/Sang Tan) (Credit: AP)
LONDON (AP) — Roger Federer opened his quest for a seventh season-ending tour title looking like the man to beat again.
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.
A day after Andy Murray made his return to Britain for the first time since winning the U.S. Open, the crowd got into Tuesday’s match, complete with cowbells ringing and constant chanting for Federer.
The Swiss star didn’t disappoint them, looking like he was right at home from the start.
He held at love to open the match, and immediately 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.
Federer twice won the season-ending tournament when it was in Houston in 2003-04, and then won two more in Shanghai in 2006-07. In London, he is the two-time defending champion.
The victory moved him out of tie with Ivan Lendl for the most wins at the tournament.
In the other Group B match, David Ferrer was to face Juan Martin del Potro later Tuesday.