Roger Federer qualified for the ATP World Tour finals in November for a record 13th consecutive year, as he confirmed his place by winning the Cincinnati Masters on Sunday.
The world number three has ensured that he can not finish outside the top eight of the world rankings at the end of the year, and he will be aiming to win the tournament for the seventh time.
The 33-year-old’s attendance at the 02 Arena in London was secured with a 6-3, 1-6, 6-2 victory over Spain’s David Ferrer in the final in Cincinnati, which saw him win his sixth title in Ohio.
Joining the 17-time Grand Slam winner at the event played between the world’s top eight players will be Rafael Nadal of Spain and Serbian Novak Djokovic, who confirmed their places earlier this year after winning the French Open and Wimbledon respectively.
Federer will now break the record for the number of consecutive appearances at the event, as he has now gone past Ivan Lendl’s run of 12 appearances between 1980 and 1991.
His tally of six titles is also a record, with his last tournament victory coming in 2011, where he beat Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in a three set final.
Federer spoke of his delight at qualifying once again, and he feels it is one of the most important tournaments on the calendar.
“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.”
A successful year
Playing at the year-ending event will be a reward for a year of progress, as he has also won titles in Halle and Dubai, as well as reaching his first Grand Slam final in two years at Wimbledon, where he lost to Djokovic in five sets.
Another achievement to add to a long list he has compiled throughout his career is that he became the first player to pass 300 Masters Series match wins last week when he beat Canada’s Vasek Pospisil in the second round.
Despite his achievements this year, Federer is yet to win a Grand Slam since winning his seventh Wimbledon title in 2012, though he will be among the favourites going into the US Open, which starts next Monday.
He will be seeded second when the draw is made this week, as Nadal announced on Monday that he will not be back to defend his title in New York after suffering a wrist injury, and Federer will be aiming to win the last Grand Slam of the year for the sixth time.