Roger Federer entered the semi-finals of the season-ending ATP Tour Finals, delivering a masterclass as he outclassed Novak Djokovic in straight sets on Thursday.
Having started the event with a stunning straight-set defeat, Federer summoned his best in a 6-4, 6-3 victory and thus avenging the Wimbledon final defeat to Djokovic earlier this year. The defeat also ends the Serb’s bid to end the year as the top-ranked male singles player.
Rafael Nadal is now confirmed to end the year as the number one.
Federer, as has been the case everywhere he plays, was backed by a vocal O2 Arena crowd in London and the 38-year-old Swiss maestro didn’t disappoint, hitting eight aces in the first set.
“Great atmosphere, great opponent,” Federer said. “It was definitely incredibly special. I enjoyed it from the beginning. I played incredible and I knew I had to because that’s what Novak does. It was definitely magical. It was so close at Wimbledon. It was a privilege to play that match, so many ups and downs. I couldn’t be more happy right now.”
This is Federer’s first win against Djokovic in past six meetings and the 32-year-old conceded his opponent was superior on the day. “He was the better player in all aspects and absolutely deserved to win,” said Djokovic. “He served great, moved well, returned my serve very well…. He did everything right.”
With Stefanos Tsitsipas having already booked a semi-final spot, on Friday Nadal, defending champion Alexander Zverev and Daniil Medvedev will battle it out for the remaining two places on Friday.