LONDON (AP) — Roger Federer reached his 100th career final, beating David Ferrer 7-5, 6-3 Saturday in the semifinals of the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals and gaining the year-end No. 3 ranking.
In a tournament where his biggest rivals complained of fatigue after failing to make it out of the group stage, Federer showed no signs of slowing down. The 30-year-old Swiss extended his unbeaten streak to 16 matches after winning titles in Basel and Paris before coming to London.
Federer became just the fifth player to reach 100 finals in the open era. He will be looking for his 70th title Sunday when he faces the winner of the second semifinal between Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Tomas Berdych.
The victory over Ferrer sent Federer past Andy Murray in the year-end rankings, trailing No. 1 Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal.
Djokovic and Nadal were eliminated after losing two of their round-robin matches this week, both saying their minds and bodies weren’t up for top-level tennis following another grueling season. Murray pulled out injured following his opening loss to Ferrer on Monday.
But Federer has played some of his best tennis of the year in London, and while he did not look as sharp against Ferrer as he did in his three group-stage victories, he never faced a break point. He broke the fifth-seeded Spaniard twice in the second set and converted his second match point with a forehand winner.
Ferrer came within two points of the first set six times in Federer’s service game when the Spaniard led 5-4. But he never earned a break point in a game that went to deuce five times, and Federer finally held when Ferrer sent a backhand passing shot wide. That marked a turning point, with Federer winning the next four games as well to take control.
Federer is looking for a record sixth title at the year-end event for the world’s top eight players. Ivan Lendl and Pete Sampras have five. With his 806th victory, Federer moved into a share of sixth place on the career list with Stefan Edberg.
The other four players to have reached 100 finals are Jimmy Connors (163), Lendl (146), John McEnroe (108) and Guillermo Vilas (104).
In doubles, Max Mirnyi of Belarus and Daniel Nestor of Canada reached the final by beating American twins Bob and Mike Bryan 7-6 (6), 6-4. In the second semifinal, Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes of India were set to take on Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski of Poland.