Tennis

Federer beats Djokovic to advance at ATP Finals

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Follow @cnnsport Federer's convincing 6-4, 6-3 win in front of a roughly 18,000-strong crowd that backed him as vociferously as in July's Wimbledon final — when he held a pair of match points on his own serve — sent him to the semifinals at the year-end championships at Djokovic's expense. "I'm just happy at the level I could play today and obviously it's always special beating Novak, even more so (after) what happened but I didn't feel like I had to get rid of the ghosts or anything like that," Federer told reporters. "I feel like I moved on pretty quickly after that."The result also ended Djokovic's chances of finishing the year as No. 1 ahead of Rafael Nadal and collecting a sixth year-end title to match Federer. "It was not much that I did right this match," Djokovic, who still owns a winning 26-23 record against Federer, told reporters. "Realistically he was the better player in all aspects and absolutely deserved to win."He served great, moved well, returned my serve very well. From his end, I think he did everything right. From my end, I was just playing too neutral. "I couldn't read his serve well. Just a pretty bad match from my side."No one holds more year-end trophies than Federer in the men's game, so it's little surprise this event is also where the 38-year-old snapped a five-match losing streak against Djokovic. His previous win? In the group stage at the ATP Finals in 2015.He indeed served flawlessly, getting 73% of his first serves in play and winning 81% of those points. There were a dozen aces and he faced only one break point against the game's top returner. "I have had a good serving year," said Federer. "I'm sure at some point this year I felt great. Maybe even Basel because I ran through the tournament there," he added, referring to the title in his hometown last month. "So I know I can do it. But obviously that was not Novak Djokovic opposite to me."So to hit the spots the way I did today is definitely special."Djokovic, meanwhile, said he felt a sharp pain in his serving elbow in the second set, but "it was probably just an awkward, quick movement that I did. It did not pose any form of issues later on."Federer finished second in Group Bjorn Borg behind Dominic Thiem, who already topped the group after beating Federer and Djokovic. The huge-hitting Austrian lost his perfect record, however, falling to Matteo Berrettini in Thursday's day session at the O2 Arena, 7-6 (7-3) 6-3.

Federer vs. Nadal?

Tennis fans have been spoiled with a pair of Federer-Nadal clashes at grand slams this season and the two titans, who own a combined 39 majors, will collide in the semifinals if the Spaniard advances from Group Andre Agassi. For that to happen, though, Nadal needs to beat the already-through Stefanos Tsitsipas on Friday and hope that defending champion Alexander Zverev then loses to US Open finalist Daniil Medvedev. READ: Nadal angered by reporter's marriage questionNadal pulled off a miraculous comeback against Medvedev on Wednesday to stay in contention, fending off a match point and rallying from 5-1 down in the third set. Remarkably, Federer has failed to make the semifinals at the ATP Finals oRead More – Source