Roger Federer of Switzerland celebrates after winning the ATP World Tour tennis singles final match against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France in London, Britain, 27 November 2011. Federer won the 100th final in his career.
Every time Roger Federer steps onto the court these days it seems another milestone is within his grasp.
He seized another one on Saturday, reaching his 100th career final by beating David Ferrer of Spain 7-5, 6-3 in the semifinals of the ATP World Tour Finals in London. Federer could add a few more in the final. He is in position to win his 70th title overall and a record sixth at the season-ending tournament for the world's top eight players.
"It's a special occasion for me," said Federer, who will play Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
Tsonga continued his strong play this week by beating Czech Tomas Berdych 6-3, 7-5 in the late match, putting the sixth-seeded Frenchman into the final of this event for the first time, in only his second appearance.
The victory over Ferrer sent Federer past Andy Murray to No. 3 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 last Monday.
Federer - who holds a record 16 grand slam titles - is tied with Ivan Lendl and Pete Sampras with five victories at the ATP Finals, formerly known as the Masters Cup. A win in yesterday's final would also tie Lendl's record of 39 match victories in the event.
Federer became the fifth player to reach 100 finals in the open era, joining Jimmy Connors (163), Lendl (146), John McEnroe (108) and Guillermo Vilas (104).
And with his 806th victory on Saturday, he moved into a share of sixth place on the career list with Swede Stefan Edberg. "Stefan was my idol," Federer said. "So to achieve something that he achieved is obviously very nice."
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.
Tsonga will play Federer for the third Sunday in a row, after losing to him in the Paris final two weeks ago and their first round-robin match in London last weekend. "Roger is the best player for the moment indoors," Tsonga said. "It's going to be really special here, for my first final here."