Stefanos Tsitsipas produced a dominating display to dump six-time champion Roger Federer out of the ATP Finals with a 6-3, 6-4 win in the semi-finals on Saturday.
Tsitsipas, who had earlier beaten Federer at the Australian Open this year, has lost to the Swiss legend twice since then but dished out a confident performance to enter the final on tournament debut.
The sixth-seed Greek will face Domnic Thiem in the title clash who beat defending champion Alexandr Zverev in the second semi-final on Saturday. Thiem, who had reached the French Open final this year, won 7-5, 6-3.
“This is a big, big dream coming true for me, it is one of the biggest and most prestigious tournaments of the whole year and I’m getting the chance to play the final,” Thiem said .
Tsitsipas praised his 20-time Grand Slam opponent saying it was his dream to play against the maestro. “I grew up watching Roger, wishing I could step out and play him. It’s not easy to copy. I mean this guy does magic on the court. For me, I am trying to do half of what he does. He can be so good sometimes,” he said.
Federer was a far cry from his stunning win over Novak Djokovic, admitting that the days of the big-three (Federer, Djokovic and Radael Nadal) dominating the men’s circuit are nearing their end. “Yeah, I would think so. We (the big three) are not getting any younger. So chances increase not because we are getting worse but because they are getting better, I believe. I just think they have proven their point this year by qualifying for the ATP Finals, and also now at least one of them making it to the final. Definitely it’s that next step they need, and seems like Dominic is in his absolute prime right now,” the 38-year-old said.
Federer was ‘frustrated’ with his own performance saying, “I’m frustrated I couldn’t play better. And when I did and fought my way back. It’s the year-end. It’s over now and I can’t make it better. I tried everything I could. I tried to chip it eventually, tried to stay back and hit some. I tried to come forward. But of course with his (Tsitsipas) aggression, it’s not always easy because he always takes the ball very early himself too.”