Roger Federer claims lone Tokyo crown over Tim Henman

It seemed everything he touched turned to gold for Roger Federer in 2006, increasing the dominance over the rest of the Tour that he had established in 2004 and 2005. The Swiss won 92 out of 97 matches (four losses came against Rafael Nadal) and finished the season on the record-breaking 12 ATP titles. Roger won three Major crowns in 2006 and lost three notable finals on clay to Nadal, including Roland Garros, where he could have earned tennis glory. After the second-round Cincinnati loss to Andy Murray, Roger won all the matches until the end of the season.

He headed to Tokyo a month after winning the US Open and lifted the title on debut following a 6-3, 6-3 triumph in an hour and seven minutes over Tim Henman on October 8 for his ninth title of the season. Between 1999-2004, Henman had a clear edge over Roger, winning six out of seven encounters before Federer took charge and grabbed six straight victories over the Briton to wrap up their rivalry with seven wins and six losses. Federer worked hard in the opening round against Viktor Troicki, prevailing in two tie breaks before another fierce clash in the quarter-final versus Takao Suzuki that went into the deciding’s sets tie break. Roger needed an hour to dismiss Benjamin Becker 6-3, 6-4 in the semis, losing eight points on serve and breaking the German once in each set to secure a place in the final.

Roger Federer claimed his only Tokyo title in 2006, beating Tim Henman in the final.

Despite serving at only 56%, Federer controlled the pace in his games and lost just 11 points in nine service games, playing against no break chances and keeping the pressure on Tim. The Briton had six double faults and dropped 45% of the initial shot points, facing 11 break points and suffering three breaks in his 28th and last ATP final. Roger held at love in the opening game and moved ahead after Tim’s double at 3-2 before creating a 5-2 gap after three service winners in the next one.

Serving for the set at 5-3, Roger blasted three winners to claim the opener and boost confidence ahead of the rest of the encounter. Henman repelled break chances at the beginning of the second set before getting broken at 1-1- when his forehand landed long, drifting further away from a positive result. Federer confirmed the break with a service winner and blasted another to bring the sixth game home and move 4-2 ahead. Three direct points pushed the Swiss 5-3 up, and he converted the third match point in the ninth game when Henman sprayed a forehand error to celebrate his first and only title in Japan.