Federer avenges Wimbledon final defeat to see off Djokovic at ATP Finals

Federer avenges Wimbledon final defeat to see off Djokovic at ATP Finals

Revenge was sweet for Roger Federer as he won his shoot-out with Novak Djokovic to reach the last four at the ATP Finals.

The 38-year-old avenged his agonising Wimbledon final defeat by Djokovic in July, winning 6-4 6-3 to deny the Serbian the world number one spot in the process.

The illustrious pair, with 11 titles between them, were both expected to progress from the group stage but Dominic Thiem’s impressive form meant only one of them could join him.

It was Federer who maintained his proud record of having never failed to reach the semi-finals here at London’s 02, and he can now bid for a record seventh title over the weekend.

Four years since his last win over Djokovic, and four months since he blew those two championship points at Wimbledon, an elated Federer said: “It was a great atmosphere, a great opponent, here at the 02, incredibly special, I enjoyed it from the beginning.

“I played incredibly well and I knew I had to because that’s what Novak can do.

“What did I do differently from Wimbledon? I won the match point I guess.

“You move on, try harder next time round and hope the luck goes for you. I couldn’t be happier right now.”

It was a strange performance from Djokovic, who made three double-faults in his first two service matches, dropping the second to love.

View this post on Instagram

“I won the match point, I guess.” 😂 🎥: @tennistv | @rogerfederer | #NittoATPFinals

A post shared by ATP Tour (@atptour) on

By contrast it was a stunning first set from Federer, even by his own impeccable standards, as he fired down eight aces, hit 12 winners and made just one unforced error.

The Swiss master, a favourite with the crowd if not the bookmakers, broke again at the start and the end of the second set to wrap up a memorable win.

He can now put his feet up on Friday ahead of a semi-final showdown with Stefanos Tsitsipas, Alexander Zverev, Daniil Medvedev or Rafael Nadal, who is now guaranteed to end the year at the top of the rankings.

“You always play better as a tournament goes along,” added Federer.

Roger Federer (right) won 6-4 6-3 to deny Novak Djokovic the world number one spot (Tess Derry/PA)
Roger Federer (right) won 6-4 6-3 to deny Novak Djokovic the world number one spot (Tess Derry/PA)

“Dominic has been supreme in our group and put us in this situation, there was a lot riding on the match. I had a clear game plan and it worked to perfection. It was a great performance from me tonight.

“Am I looking forward to the weekend? A lot. I’m happy to stick around. I didn’t make any plans yet!”

Djokovic, who failed to reach the semi-finals for the first time since 2011, said: “There was not much that I did right this match, to be honest.

“I mean, realistically he was better player in all aspects and absolutely deserved to win.

“He served great, moved well, returned my serve very well. From his end, I think he did everything right.

Novak Djokovic failed to reach the semi-finals for the first time since 2011 (Tess Derry/PA)
Novak Djokovic failed to reach the semi-finals for the first time since 2011 (Tess Derry/PA)

“From my end, I was just playing too neutral. I couldn’t read his serve well. Just a pretty bad match from my side.”

In the afternoon’s dead rubber, Thiem was beaten in straight sets by Matteo Berrettini, who ended his stay in the capital on a high by becoming the first Italian to win a match at the Finals.

More on this topic

Serena Williams' smashed racket sells for $21kSerena Williams' smashed racket sells for $21k

Caroline Wozniacki to retire after Australian OpenCaroline Wozniacki to retire after Australian Open

Andy Murray at ‘lowest point’ of recovery when talking about Dunblane massacreAndy Murray at ‘lowest point’ of recovery when talking about Dunblane massacre

Delighted Dan Evans sends Britain into Davis Cup semi-finalsDelighted Dan Evans sends Britain into Davis Cup semi-finals

More in this Section

Donegal chairman: 'The fundraising and sponsorship nearly takes up your whole year'Donegal chairman: 'The fundraising and sponsorship nearly takes up your whole year'

Mayo GAA secretary thanks Tim O'Leary in annual reportMayo GAA secretary thanks Tim O'Leary in annual report

Barrister makes doping allegations against Shane Sutton over Tour of IrelandBarrister makes doping allegations against Shane Sutton over Tour of Ireland

Injured Stones ruled out of Dinamo Zagreb clashInjured Stones ruled out of Dinamo Zagreb clash


Lifestyle

They’re the best air purifiers around so we should grow more houseplants all year round, says Peter Dowdall.Not just for December: The reason why she should grow more houseplants all year round

Let's face it — for the first few years of a child’s life you can dress them exactly how you want to.Alison Curtis: Clothes shopping with your young girl can be a tricky thing to do

Lizzo, Demi Lovato and Ashley Graham are among those prompting us to practise a little more self-love.5 times celebrities reminded us to be body positive in 2019

Wondering about wine for the big day? Leslie Williams has all the options, for every taste and budget.Something from the bar: The perfect drink selections this Christmas

More From The Irish Examiner