Roger Federer opened his quest for a seventh season-ending tour title looking like the man to beat - again.
The 17-time Grand Slam champion won his record 40th match at the tournament, defeating Janko Tipsarevic 6-3, 6-1 Tuesday in his opening Group B match.
Federer lost only eight points on his serve under the roof of the O2 Arena while converting four of his nine break points.
"Obviously, coming in knowing that I've played so well past years, I expect myself also to be at a solid level," said Federer, who also won his seventh Wimbledon title this year and won a silver medal at the London Olympics. "I've had a good year. It's true, I feel like I'm striking the ball well after today. I hope it's a sign for more to come hopefully."
Federer's presence alone breathed a bit of life into the tournament for the top eight players in the world.
A day after Andy Murray made his return to Britain for the first time since winning the U.S.
Open, the crowd actually got into Tuesday's match, complete with cowbells ringing and constant chanting for Federer.
"I'm very, very honoured, really, and very proud in some ways to be so well liked by so many fans around the world, just not in one particular place or one country," said Federer, who will next face David Ferrer on Thursday. "It really seems to be everywhere I go I get a lot of fan support."
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