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Roger Clinches Tennis Masters Cup Spot

06.07.2005 | Off Court

World No. 1 and current INDESIT ATP 2005 Race leader Roger Federer has clinched his place in the Tennis Masters Cup Shanghai, once again setting a new mark for the earliest announced qualification for the year-end championship.It will be the two-time defending Tennis Masters Cup champion’s fourth consecutive appearance in the year-end finale, which will be held at the Qi Zhong stadium in Shanghai on November 13-20, 2005. Federer went undefeated en route to back-to-back titles in Houston in 2003-04 and has a 13-1 record in the tournament. Federer’s only loss came on his Tennis Masters Cup debut when the championships were last held in Shanghai in 2002, when he lost to Lleyton Hewitt in the semifinals. "It's a great feeling to know that I have already qualified for Shanghai,” said Federer. “I want to defend my title, it's one of my goals this year. I remember playing the Tennis Masters Cup in Shanghai in 2002; it was my debut in the tournament as part of the best eight players in the world. The crowds were fantastic, I love playing in Asia and I look forward to November." The Swiss superstar set an unprecedented benchmark in 2004 after he became the earliest qualifier in the history of the tournament when it was announced on August 3 that he had qualified for the Tennis Masters Cup Houston. Federer then went on to successfully defend his title, defeating Lleyton Hewitt in the 2004 final and finish as the year-end World No. 1 with 11 titles. It was a season that led to Federer receiving a multitude of international awards, including the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year. As a testament to his outstanding qualities, Federer has continued to set new standards in 2005. Just last week, Federer became only the third player in Open era history (since 1968) to win three consecutive Wimbledon championships. It also marked Federer’s eighth title of the year, with three ATP Masters Series tournaments in Indian Wells, Miami and Hamburg among them, and record 21st consecutive victory in a tournament final stretching back to October 2003. The 23-year-old has a 228-point lead over Roland Garros champion Rafael Nadal at the top of the INDESIT ATP 2005 Race and an incredible 58-3 win-loss record for the season. The Swiss already has 910 Race points this year – more than the 887 he had going into last year’s US Open – and is on course to overhaul his total in 2004, when he finished No. 1 with 1267. “Federer continues to amaze us all,” said Tennis Masters Cup Tournament Director Brad Drewett. “Tennis fans throughout the world know that they are witnessing the progress of one of the greatest players of all time. He is the perfect global ambassador for our sport, admired throughout Asia where he has an immense fan following. He was recently voted the most popular tennis player in China so everyone is obviously looking forward to seeing him in Shanghai again.” The Race for the remaining seven places at the Tennis Masters Cup will be hotly contested over the coming four months as the countdown to Shanghai continues. Spanish sensation Nadal, currently in second position in the INDESIT ATP 2005 Race, should qualify soon and will be hoping to continue his impressive form having won six titles so far this year. Andy Roddick (3rd), two-time Tennis Masters Cup champion Hewitt (4th) and Australian Open winner Marat Safin (5th) also are among the most likely to earn spots in Shanghai in the weeks and months ahead. The Top seven players in the INDESIT ATP 2005 Race on November 7 will qualify for the year-end finale. The eighth place will go to the highest-placed Grand Slam champion who finishes between eighth and 20th. If no player fits this classification, the eighth place will go to the player who finishes eighth in the INDESIT ATP 2005 Race. INDESIT ATP 2005 Race Leader Board (as of July 4, 2005)1st, Federer,Roger/SUI*, 9102nd, Nadal,Rafael/ESP*, 6723rd, Roddick,Andy/USA, 4364th, Hewitt,Lleyton/AUS, 3545T, Safin,Marat/RUS*, 3215T, Davydenko,Nikolay/RUS, 3217th, Coria,Guillermo/ARG, 2998th, Puerta,Mariano/ARG, 2559th, Gaudio,Gaston/ARG, 24810T, Johansson,Thomas/SWE, 22510T, Ferrer,David/ESP, 225

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