04:49 AM GMT August 18, 2014
Roger Federer has punched his ticket to the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals for a record 13th year in a row after clinching a sixth title at the Western & Southern Open on Sunday. Federer joins Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal in the elite eight-man field at the season finale, to be held at The O2 in London from 9-16 November, where he will be looking to win his seventh crown.
The 33-year-old Swiss is the most successful player to compete at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, compiling a 44-11 record and claiming a record six titles in 2003-04, 2006-07 and 2010-11. He breaks the record of consecutive years qualifying for the championship, a mark he previously shared with Ivan Lendl (1980-91).
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“It’s always one of the big goals I set myself at the beginning of the season,” said Federer. “It’s always an absolute honour being part of the best eight. Getting a chance to win an extra trophy at the end of the season – which is so prestigious, one of the biggest ones we have in the game and one I’ve done so well at – is a great feeling. Returning to the season finale is something I’ve been a part of since 2002, so to do it again is a privilege and I will try to play my very best there. I hope I can save some of my best for last.”
Federer opened his 2014 campaign by finishing runner-up to rival Lleyton Hewitt at the Brisbane International and reaching the semi-finals at the Australian Open. He enjoyed a 10-match win streak from late-February to mid-March, hoisting a sixth trophy at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships and reaching his 35th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 final at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.
The Swiss finished runner-up to countryman Stan Wawrinka at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters and advanced to four consecutive finals, beginning with a seventh Gerry Weber Open crown on the grass of Halle in early June. He reached a ninth title match at Wimbledon, followed by a run to the final at the Rogers Cup in Toronto. En route to clinching a sixth championship in Cincinnati, he became the first player to achieve 300 match wins at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 level and the third to claim 80 tour-level titles.