Federer disposes with Djokovic to set up dream final
Originally published on: 27/11/10 23:50
Roger Federer will play Rafael Nadal in the final of the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals after crushing Novak Djokovic 6-1 6-4 at the O2 Arena on Saturday.
A tie that was expected to go the distance just like the three-hour Nadal-Murray epic earlier in the day took just 79 minutes in the end as the world No.2 thoroughly outclassed the Serb.
“He was on top of his game,” admitted Djokovic after falling to his third straight defeat to Federer – results that are fast-making his thrilling US Open semi-final triumph over the 16-time Grand Slam champ a distant memory.
“I think he was playing unbelievable from the first moment today,” added Djokovic. “He deserved to win. He was the better player today.”
If the Serb was slow out of the blocks, Federer was lightening quick, moving into a 3-0 lead before the 23-year-old had caught breath. Toying with his opponent early on, Federer stepped into the court and forced Djokovic to all corners. Come the sixth game, his superiority told again as he clinched a second break before serving out a dream opening set.
Djokovic threatened a revival in the second, mirroring Federer’s earlier efforts and letting out a roar of delight after grabbing an early break to move 3-0 ahead. Federer looked momentarily rattled – even framing a ball high into the overhead TV screens on one point – but the Swiss regained his composure, holding serve before breaking right back when he rushed the net and a hurried Djokovic dragged an attempted backhand pass into the tramlines.
With momentum back on Federer’s side, Djokovic did well to stave off three break points and hold serve in the seventh game, but it simply delayed the inevitable as the four-time Finals champion broke in the ninth game before serving out yet another assured triumph at the showpiece tournament.
“Today was another great match,” reflected Federer, who has stylishly crafted his way through all four of his matches in front of the 17,000-strong capacity crowd in North Greenwich.
Looking ahead to Nadal tomorrow in what will be just their second meeting of 2010 – the last ending with a swing and a miss when Federer struck an air-shot on match point to hand the Spaniard the Madrid Masters title in May – Federer said:
“I’m really enjoying myself and I hope I can produce something good tomorrow.
“Rafa showed today why he is the best player in the world at the moment and it should be a good match. We haven’t played that much recently but I’m looking forward to playing him.”