As expected World number one Novak Djokovic and World number three Roger Federer have advanced to the final of the season ending ATP World Tour final with comprehensive straight set wins over their opponents Rafael Nadal and Stanislas Wawrinka respectively.
In what were expected to be potentially explosive matches, both produced vintage tennis and their opponent could only offer token resistance at the O2 arena in London on Saturday. In the first match of the day Djokovic established early breaks of service in each set and never relinquished as he coasted to a 6-3,6-3 win in just under 80 minutes.
Djokovic started the match in imperious fashion winning his first 5 return points and since that moment, Nadal was left playing catch-up with the leader – ultimately falling well short of the expectations of most of his well-wishers. The two are now tied at 23 wins apiece and Djokovic has beaten Nadal for the fourth time in 2015 without dropping a set.
In a rematch of last years explosive and tense all Swiss semi final Stanislas Wawrinka was off the blocks early as he broke serve in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead. Federer would get a break back in the eight game to level at 4-4 and then break again in the twelfth game to seal the first set 7-5.
Federer overcame a 0-30 deficit in his opening service game and broke Wawrinka’s serve in the next game to extinguish any hopes of a turn-around for the younger Swiss player. Federer established a 3-0 lead after another tight service game and held on to ride the scoreboard to win 7-5, 6-3 in under 70 minutes.
Federer will now be looking for a seventh title at the season ending finale while Djokovic will be bidding to win his fourth consecutive title in London and his fifth overall. The duo clashed in the second round matches in Stan Smith group and Federer ended Djokovic’s streak of 23 consecutive matches with a 7-5,6-2 win. He holds a slender 22-21 edge while Djokovic leads 4-3 in matches between the two, this year – including the Wimbledon and U.S. Open finals.
While Federer has a 88-46 record in tour level finals, Djokovic has 58-26. Djokovic won 10 titles this year while Federer has claimed six. The duo contested the 2012 final in London and Djokovic who won that year can become the first player in the tournament’s 46 year old history to win four in a row.
Federer can reclaim the number two ranking from Andy Murray with a win on Sunday, however Murray, who will lead Great Britain in the Davis Cup final next weekend, can still finish at number two if he wins two live rubbers or if he wins one match and Britain goes on to clinch the Davis Cup title.
The line up with my pick mentioned first and their head to head record and 2015 records is as under :-
Roger Federer (3) (62-10) v. Novak Djokovic (1) (80-6); Federer leads 22-21.
Prediction : Federer in three sets.
– Rasesh Mehta [Rasesh Mehta is an analyst with the Tennis Galaxy.You can reach him at the email: firstname.lastname@example.org]