The Swiss world No.2, bidding for a record-extending seventh title at the end-of-season finale, dished out yet more punishment to Ferrer in a 6-4, 7-6 victory at the O2, taking his career record over the tenacious Spaniard to 14-0.
Federer took a while to settle into his smooth rhythm, though, and Ferrer, who beat Juan Martin del Potro in his opening match, had numerous opportunities to make inroads in the opening games of their Group B clash.
Ferrer was 0-40 ahead on Federerís opening service game but having failed to capitalise he was immediately broken himself.
He squandered more break points in the next game as Federer found himself 3-0 up without even playing well.
Ferrer has a season-leading 73 match wins this year.
ďFerrer is so respected by the fellow competitors. I enjoy playing against him, not because the 14-0 record but because heís a great guy and a great competitor,Ē Federer said. Ferrerís fate will be decided in the final round of group matches on Saturday when he faces Janko Tipsarevic. Should he win that and then go on to reach the final he would replace compatriot Rafa Nadal as No.4.