Roger Federer secured his place in the semis of the Nitto ATP Finals in imposing style as he beat rival Novak Djokovic in straight sets. The tournament, held at at London’s O2 Arena, is the climax of the men’s singles and doubles season, and always delivers exciting and surprising performances from the best of the best. This year has been no exception, with big upsets coming right from the start: Federer and Nadal lost their first matches to Thiem and Zverev respectively, with Nadal losing his second match to the Austrian. This has left the field wide open and means the big three really have to step up their games in order to progress to the knock-out stages.
We were treated to an exemplary display of controlled aggression from Federer on Thursday night, as he dispatched a less-than-dominant Djokovic. This was the first time the pair had met since THAT Wimbledon final in July, and the world was watching to see who would claim bragging rights this time. Although he put up a decent defence, Novak was simply outplayed by the Swiss, who seemed so comfortable in the 20,000 capacity arena. This was a must-win match for both men, but Roger used his impeccable serve to dominate from the start, losing only three points on his own serve. Novak fought back at the start of the second, but Federer was quick to crush this without being broken.
Federer went on to close it out pretty easily in the end. This brought to an end his four-year losing streak against the Serb; his first win against him since 2015. It should go some way to avenging the heart-breaking Wimbledon final loss he suffered at Djokovic’s hands, and proves that they 38 year-old is by no means about to take his foot off the gas. It also leaves the possibility of a Federer-Nadal semi-final, providing Nadal beats Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev beats Daniil Medvedev. Regardless, the Spaniard is guaranteed to finish 2019 as World Number One.