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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Thursday November 14, 2019

Roger Federer brought his A game to London today and shook up the ATP’s year-end rankings as a result.

The Swiss powered past Novak Djokovic 6-4 6-3 to book his spot in the semifinals at the Nitto ATP Finals and ensure the ATP’s year-end ranking for Rafael Nadal.

Djokovic needed to win the event to have a chance at tying Pete Sampras’ record of six year-end No.1 finishes, but Federer’s all-out assault ended up sending the Serb to his first defeat against the Swiss in four full years.

Tennis Express

“It’s nice,” Federer said after the match. “I’ve tried so hard and come so incredibly close against Novak in the last couple of years. Wimbledon obviously was epic. Paris Bercy last year I lost 7-6 in a third as well, it was epic. We’ve had so many cool matches in the past so it was nice to get one, especially there was a lot riding on this match, I’m sure Rafa was watching too, and from that standpoint it was a magical night for me here at the 02, no doubt.”

Federer was dominant on serve throughout the contest and he left Djokovic no room for error on his serve by firing 12 aces and dropping just 11 points on serve over the course of the 73-minute contest.

“When you can dominate on your serve you can definitely be more loose on the return,” Federer said. “I was able to do that tonight. I didn’t think I was going to get that many aces or service winners against Novak tonight, because I’ve been, not struggling, but it hasn’t been easy to find the spots for me.”

Federer racked up 23 winners against just five unforced errors while Djokovic finished with 14 winners against 13 unforced.

The Serb saved a break point in the opening game of the match but in the third game he was broken at love after tossing in two double-faults and being pushed back by two Federer backhand bombs.

Tennis Express

That break was all the Swiss needed in the opening set as he dropped just three points on serve and only missed four first serves in total.

Djokovic saved a pair of break points in the first game of the second set and it felt like he was making headway when he earned a break point in the fourth game with Federer serving at 1-2, but a brilliant forehand stretched Djokovic out wide and Federer swooped in and knocked off a put-away volley to save it.

He would hold and break in the next game to lead 3-2.

Unlike at Wimbledon this year, where Federer failed to save two championship points before losing in five sets to Djokovic, there were no complications tonight at the 02 Arena. Federer broke at love when a Djokovic volley sunk into the net, and celebrated with glee as the crowd roared its approval.

Djokovic finishes the season with a 54-11 record and two major titles. He appeared to be struggling at times with his right elbow during the match, but he never elected to call doctors on the court.

Federer finishes second in the Group Bjorn Borg standings and it isn’t yet determined who he’ll face in Saturday’s semis.

On Friday in London, Nadal and Stefanos Tsitsipas will square off in the first singles match, followed by Alexander Zverev and Daniil Medvedev in the evening.

Nadal needs to win and have Zverev lose to qualify for the semis. If Nadal and Zverev both lose, Tsitsipas will win the group outright and the other semifinalist will be decided by a tiebreaker between Nadal, Zverev and Medvedev.


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