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Federer back in contention

Those who started the year writing off Roger Federer end the year proclaiming his comeback. The Swiss tennis maestro claimed his 100th career title at the O2 Arena by beating French challenger Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the World Tours Final.

A celebrity-studded crowd including Cristiano Ronaldo, Boris Johnson and Pippa Middleton witnessed Federer out-point Tsonga in a tense third set, after the Frenchman had put up a spirited fight-back.

Federer’s win put him up to number 3 in the world, ahead of Andy Murray. "I felt I played great the past few weeks," Federer said. "It was the strongest finish I've ever had in my career, which I'm very proud of."

What will have given him most satisfaction was the way he held on to his concentration and resolve after Tsonga had won a second set tie-break and pushed Federer to the brink in the deciding set. He also managed to stay focused when the London Mayor caused a distraction in the crowd, shuffling into his seat after a snack break.

At the end of a season where Murray and Rafael Nadal were succumbing to injuries and world number one Novak Djokovic was looking tired, Federer reiterated his refusal to give way quietly. At 30, he will now be among the favourites for the first 2012 Grand Slam tournament in Australia.

"Sure, to win grand slams would be nice," Federer said. "I've missed out on a few occasions this year, and last year. It might be around the corner, maybe not."

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