Federer sinks Tsonga to master Paris
Roger Federer claimed his second title in as many weeks after beating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to win the BNP Paribas Masters in Paris.
World No. 4 Federer, who ended a ten-month title drought in Basel last week, claimed a 6-1 7-6(3) victory to claim an 18th Masters title, but his first in Paris.
Federer's path to the title may have opened up with the withdrawal of world No. 1 Novak Djokovic and quarter-final defeat to second seed Andy Murray, but the Swiss made no mistake as he claimed an ultimately convincing win over the home favourite.
After saving two break points on his opening service game, Federer got off to a blistering start as he grabbed an early break, before streaking to a 5-0 lead. Tsonga finally stemmed the flow with an emphatic service game to love, but it was a case of too little, too late as Federer wrapped up the opening set in half-an-hour.
But Tsonga, who saved three match points in his semi-final win over John Isner on Saturday, refused to lie down, and started the second set determined to get himself back on level terms. Having come from two sets down to claim an unlikely comeback win against Federer at Wimbledon this year, Tsonga, and indeed the partisan French crowd, believed the comeback was on.
Tsonga and Federer traded blows as neither player was able to find a breakthrough. Tsonga prompted wild celebrations after it looked like he had broken to go 5-3 up, but Federer successfully disputed the call before holding to level as the second set headed towards a tiebreak.
While his gung-ho approach on the tennis court has won him many fans, Tsonga was left to rue a number of costly mistakes. Despite hitting more winners than his opponent, the Frenchman's 27 unforced errors (to Federer's 15) ultimately proved costly.
Tsonga won two crucial tiebreaks in his semi-final win over Isner on Saturday, but he was helpless to stop Federer streaking to a 6-1 advantage, before the Swiss clinched the victory at the third time of asking to claim his 69th career title.