Following the 2010 Wimbledon quarter-final loss against Tomas Berdych, Roger Federer was one of the players to beat for the remainder of the season. The Swiss lost the Toronto final before conquering Cincinnati, playing well at the US Open and experiencing that heartbreaking semi-final loss to Novak Djokovic.
Andy Murray stopped Roger in the Shanghai semi-final, and the Swiss embraced his beloved indoor streak with titles in Stockholm and Basel. With momentum on his side, Roger entered the Paris Masters as the top seed, leading the field in one of the fastest indoor tough tournaments of the last 15 years.
The Swiss outclassed Richard Gasquet, Radek Stepanek and Jurgen Melzer to advance to the semi-final, thus looking good to chase the title that was missing from his collection. On November 13, 2010, Gael Monfils defeated Roger Federer 7-6, 6-7, 7-6 in a thrilling contest that lasted two hours and 41 minutes.
The Frenchman fended off five match points and reached his second consecutive final in Paris. It was Gael’s first victory over Roger in six meetings, giving his best to overcome a great rival and give the home crowd something to cheer about.
Federer won four more points and created seven break chances, converting only one and missing the opportunity to decide the title match against Robin Soderling. The Swiss had almost 50 winners and 40 unforced errors, staying aggressive but failing to land the last shot and cross the finish line before the Frenchman, who refused to give up.
Roger had the advantage in the shorter rallies, up to four shots, and Gael erased that disadvantage in the more demanding exchanges, as they pressed each other throughout the match. The first game lasted nine minutes, with Roger fending off three break chances to avoid an early setback.
Both players served well before the tie break.
Federer loves chess
Ivan Ljubicic has revealed that 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer is an avid chess player. “He likes to play kind of bullets to kill time and distract himself.
I know more (than Roger) or less but I prefer not to talk about it. He would not enjoy me talking about it,” said Ljubicic. “He got hooked by seeing how fanatic I was about it. He had the basics and I honestly don’t know if he still does it because we haven’t spent a lot of time together in 14 months since he had surgery but yeah he also knows the general ideas of what’s happening in the chess world, ” he added.