Roger Federer is guaranteed a place at the ATP World Tour Finals for the 12th consecutive year after seeing off Kevin Anderson in straight sets at the Paris Masters on Wednesday.
The 32-year-old Swiss beat the 21st-ranked South African 6-4, 6-4 in the second round of the ongoing tournament in Paris-Bercy.
Currently ranked sixth in the world, Federer will look to clinch a seventh victory at the season-ending tournament scheduled for November 4-11 in London.
“I’m, just happy right now to have made it again,” said the 17-time Grand Slam champion.
“It’s definitely somewhat of a highlight of the season for me after having a tough few months to still make it to the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.”
He’s now leveled with Ivan Lendl for the most successive appearances at the tournament billed for the O2 Arena this year.
“It’s great news actually, because it’s one of the goals I set myself at the beginning of the season. So it’s nice achieving things this year, because many things I couldn’t achieve that I wanted to,” the Basel-born added.
Federer broke three times and served seven aces in the battle that lasted one hour and 22 minutes. The fifth seed goes on to face Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber in the Round of 16 in Paris.
“I feel really good again, probably the first time ever since Dubai. So this is a good thing. I’m happy that I can play this way right now,” he noted.
With the race for next month’s season finale intensifying at the Paris Masters, Federer’s victory means there are two more slots to be grabbed and his compatriot Stanislas Wawrinka had earlier on Wednesday kept his hopes for a London ticket alive by beating Spain’s Feliciano Lopez 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 in the second round.
Seeded seventh at the tournament, Wawrinka returned to number eight in the race with only two more players likely to douse his hopes- Richard Gasquet and Milos Raonic.
Meanwhile, Federer joins Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, David Ferrer, Juan Martin del Potro and Tomas Berdych as the other players who have already qualified for the Final Showdown.
Spaniard Nadal, who earlier reposed his best confidence on the Swiss’ chances of grabbing his London ticket, beat fellow Spaniard Marcel Granollers 7-5, 7-5 to book a third round clash with 2012 Paris Open runners-up Jerxy Janowicz.
The 27-year-old Marjocan, who returned to the Paris Masters since 2009, is chasing an unprecedented sixth ATP Masters series success in 2013.
In the other matches played on Wednesday, Berdych also advanced to the Round of 16 with a 6-2, 7-5, victory over Pablo Andujar. The sixth seed joins Ferrer and Del Potro in the next round of the tournament.
Ferrer overcame Lukas Rosol of the Czech Republic 6-0,2-6, 6-3, while Del Potro beat Marin Cilic of Croatia 6-4, 7-6 (7-3).