Tennis

Djokovic, Federer win at ATP Finals

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic celebrates beating Juan Martin Del Potro Thursday in London.
Share This Story

   
 

LONDON (AP)

After nearly a year of global travel and dozens of matches, most of Novak Djokovic's rivals are complaining about their mental and physical fatigue.

ROGER, ROGER

Roger Federer has won a few trophies in his day. A look at his Grand Slam triumphs.

Not the Serb. He thrives in the rigors of a tough autumn finish.

Unbeaten since losing the U.S. Open final to Rafael Nadal, Djokovic joined Nadal in the ATP World Tour Finals semifinals, overcoming Juan Martin del Potro on Thursday.

After extending his winning streak to 19 matches with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 victory over the hard-hitting Argentine, Djokovic said he was playing the best tennis of his season.

"I just feel well at this particular part of the year," the six-time Grand Slam winner said. "I know most of the players are exhausted physically, mentally, emotionally, after a long season. But, you know, I try to find that as an opportunity for me, you know, to get extra motivated to kind of push myself to the limit and deliver the goods when needed."

Against del Potro, he delivered. In a very tight match, the Serb broke his rival twice, just enough to come out on top.

"He has one of the biggest serves in the sport," Djokovic said. "He has one of the most aggressive forehands. I just needed to stay tough."

Djokovic, undefeated in last year's Finals, improved to 2-0 in Group B after beating Roger Federer in the opener.

Federer made light work of Richard Gasquet for his first round-robin win, beating the Frenchman 6-4, 6-3 to boost his chances of making the semifinals for an 11th time.

SLAM DANCE

Take a look back at each of Rafael Nadal's 13 Grand Slam titles.

Nadal qualified from Group A on Wednesday when he beat Stanislas Wawrinka to clinch the season-ending No. 1 ranking for the third time in his career.

Djokovic and del Potro couldn't reproduce their epic Wimbledon semifinal. The in-form players of the autumn exchanged groundstrokes early on, with Djokovic coming out on top of long rallies.

Playing more accurately and trying to shorten the points, del Potro soldiered on in the second set and was rewarded for his patience as he converted his first break point of the set in the sixth game thanks to a lucky net cord. The former U.S. Open winner then held his next two service games to force a third set.

In the third game, del Potro had 15-40 after Djokovic's first double fault of the match. The Serb saved the first break point with an ace and del Potro wasted the other with a botched forehand. The episode sapped del Potro's morale and he lost his serve at love in the sixth game. It was decisive.

In a match pitting together two stylists, Federer and Gasquet were ordinary. Federer quickly took control and broke Gasquet four times in the match. The Frenchman hit only 11 winners and looked inhibited throughout.

Federer, who has won a record six year-end championships, was not having a great day either — he had 30 unforced errors — but prevailed on important points as Gasquet converted only one of his six break chances. Federer needed five match points to earn his 43rd Finals win.

"It is a big win for me and hopefully I can keep it up in the next match against Juan Martin del Potro," said Federer, chasing only his second title of the year.

"I'm coming back from a lot of sort of ups and downs, resetting things, trying out things, making sure I get my confidence back, my movement and so forth."

Only once in his previous 11 Finals has Federer failed to advance to the last four. A win against del Potro on Saturday will guarantee him a spot in the semis, while Gasquet became the second player to be eliminated, following David Ferrer.

Serena Williams

WINNING WAYS

Serena Williams knows championships. Take a look back at her 17 Grand Slam singles titles.

It was Federer's 11th win in 13 matches against Gasquet, who started by winning his first service game at love before fading.

The Finals are Federer's last chance to win a big tournament this season. He has won only one title in the past 14 months and has only three victories against top-10 opponents in 2013, including one against del Potro in Paris last week.

"I'm glad I got one back in Paris because I knew we could be again in the same group, we could be playing each other," Federer said. "I think that win for me in Paris psychologically was very important. I could beat top-10 guys, I beat Richard, I beat Juan Martin last week. I truly believe my confidence is higher, and that's what I need to beat the best, and Juan Martin is part of that group honestly."

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by



Tennis Videos

Djokovic tops Federer in five-set Wimbledon final Posted: Jul 06, 2014
Novak Djokovic captures his second Wimbledon title while denying Roger Federer a...

Dramatic Moments of the Week: 6/2-6/8 Posted: Jun 09, 2014
We count down the most dramatic moments from the week in sports, including the K...

Williams sisters bounced at Roland Garros Posted: May 28, 2014
Andy Roddick on Venus and Serena losing on the same day at the French Open.

Fox Sports Store