With revenge on top of his mind, Roger Federer will take on Novak Djokovic at London’s O2 Arena in the virtual quarterfinal of ATP Finals on late Thursday night. In July this year – Federer came agonizingly close to winning a record-equalling ninth Wimbledon title against Djokovic. But the Swiss maestro missed two match points on his own serve before Djokovic won the tiebreak to snatch his fifth Wimbledon crown in an epic five-set battle.
After a decent run in the 2019 season, the 38-year-old is now looking end the year on a high with a solid performance in the ongoing year-ender tournament – ATP Finals. A crowd favourite Federer enjoys the biggest fanbase and support at the iconic O2 arena where he has emerged triumph on six occasions.
However, before his another epic contest against second-ranked Serb Djokovic, Federer has provided an insight to his fans about his future plans. If we go by what he said, this will be the last time when fans will get the glimpse of 20-time Grand Slam champion. Ahead of the match versus Djokovic, Federer admitted:“It really feels like a lot of these fans come out and maybe feel like it’s maybe the last time they see me”.
“I feel like it’s been that way for a few years now, but I keep going and I appreciate them always being behind me, to be honest.”
The 49th match between Federer and Djokovic pits the two top earners in the world of tennis against one another.
In his opening match of ATP Finals, six-time winner Federer lost to Dominic Thiem in straight sets. But living to his reputation, Federer rallied back to beat Matteo Berrettini to keep his semi-final hopes alive in the tournament.
The winner between Djokovic and Federer will straight qualify for the semifinals of the eight-man, season-ending event. Djokovic leads the ATP head-to-head record over Federer 26-22.
Speaking about the lingering scars from the Wimbledon defeat, Federer said he would not know if there were any until they play what will be their 49th meeting on Thusday. “Maybe it took me a few days, couple of weeks at most to get over the Wimbledon loss,” Federer said.
“At the end of the day, I still thought I played a great final and a great tournament, beating Rafa (Nadal) there along the way.
“We’ll find out but I think it’s all flushed away from my side,” Federer said. “A lot of water has gone under the bridge since then.”
The ATP Finals invites eight of the world’s top players to compete for an end of season prize. The field is split into two groups with the top two players from each qualifying for the semifinals.