Federer Makes Last Four of Season Finale as Djokovic Wins AgainBen Priechenfried
Roger Federer completed the semifinal lineup at men’s tennis’s season finale, while Novak Djokovic struggled before finishing the group stage unbeaten.
Federer, 32, came back from a set down, and then a break down in each of the final two sets, to beat Argentina’s Juan Martin del Potro 4-6, 7-6 (7-2), 7-5 at London’s O2 indoor arena.
The win gave the Swiss his 11th semifinal in 12 appearances at the ATP World Tour Finals, a tournament which is reserved for the top eight men. He’ll face top-ranked Rafael Nadal, a player he hasn’t defeated since March 2012, tomorrow for a place in the final.
“I just feel like I need to look at it more as being an underdog a little bit,” Federer said of his match with the Spaniard. “Maybe that free swinging is what I kind of need to do a little bit more tomorrow.”
Djokovic completed his 100 percent record in group play with a 7-6 (8-6), 4-6, 6-3 win over eliminated Richard Gasquet of France. The Serb had already guaranteed his semifinal spot with earlier victories against Federer and del Potro.
Djokovic told reporters it was a mental challenge playing a meaningless match of more than two hours with the semifinal on tap tomorrow. He made 45 unforced errors to 33 for Gasquet.
The No. 2-ranked player and defending champion, Djokovic next plays Stanislas Wawrinka. He’s won 14 of 16 previous meetings with the Swiss and goes into the match riding a 20-match winning streak.
Federer, a 17-time Grand Slam singles champion has a 10-21 career record against Nadal, but is 4-0 indoors. He’s won the season-ending event a record six times, while 13-time Grand Slam winner Nadal’s best finish is a loss to Federer in the 2010 final.
In the doubles, third seeds Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo, who’d already claimed a semifinal berth, beat eliminated Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi and Jean-Julien Rojer 7-5, 3-6, 11-9. Top seeds Bob and Mike Bryan of the U.S. beat Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski 4-6, 6-3, 10-5 to reach the last four.