By Ros Satar
- Novak Djokovic  v Roger Federer  – H2H: 22-21
- Djokovic aiming for record fourth straight title
- Federer aiming for a record seventh title overall
LONDON, UK – The final that should have been? Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer rejoin on the final Sunday for the third time, at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.
Britwatch Tennis: Full Draws and Schedules
Fans could be forgiven for thinking they had gone back a year – the final that should have been, dramatically called off minutes before it was about to start resulted in an impromptu couple of exhibition matches featuring trounced Andy Murray who sped across London to spare the ATP’s blushes, and ex-players on pundit duty!
Thankfully this time around, Federer seemed in a far happier place than he had been sitting with the press 12 months ago!
He said, after his win over Stan Wawrinka: “Feeling slightly better than last year. Yeah, the press conference wasn’t the fun part, I could tell you that, because I knew I was not in good shape. This year obviously it’s very different. I feel completely normal. It’s a big relief for me. Happy of how the week’s gone so far. Yeah, so it’s a good feeling this time around.”
He has been in impressive form overall. From the gasps that accompanied his immediate break by Tomas Berdych in the first match, to losing a set to Kei Nishikori, he has been able to lift his level when it has counted. And of course that included his straight sets win over Djokovic in the round robin.
That is of course the beauty of the round-robin format. Djokovic, who has been dominant for so much of the season started strongly with a veritable rout over Nishikori before losing to Federer, and admitting that in his final round-robin against Berdych, neither of them were playing particular well.
That all changed in his semi-final against Rafael Nadal where he lifted his game and prevented the Spaniard from any kind of toe-hold in the game. Nadal had been put through the ringer in his match against his last group stage match against David Ferrer, and he knows that the final will be tough given his earlier loss against the Swiss.
He said: “I’ve lost against Roger three times this year. When he’s on, it’s hard to play him. I think he also like playing me because he has a variety in his game with the slice, he comes to the net, I takes away the time from me, so forth.
“We always play matches with a lot of tension. There is a lot at stake. I know I have to be on top in order to win against him. Hopefully I’ll be able, if I play him tomorrow, to play better than I’ve done a few days ago. But the performance today definitely gives me reason to believe that I’ll do that.”
The unprecedented nature of the withdrawal last year saw the ATP offer an automatic 60% refund to final ticket holders who bought their tickets through authorised channels as well as receiving advanced access for ticket purchasing for this year’s tournament.
This year’s fans can enjoy one of the Open Era’s most enduring rivalries taking centre stage once more to bring the curtain down on the season.
Djokovic v Federer are scheduled on Centre Court at 6pm GMT.
Main Image Credit: Julian Finney/Getty
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