Roger Federer is lone survivor among the BIG THREE as Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal failed to qualify for the semi-final of World Tour Final in London. He has been joined by what will be the BIG THREE in the next decade starting 47 days from today as Alexander Zverev of Germany, Dominic Thiem of Austria and Stefanos Tsitsipas booked their spots for the last four.
In what was easily the most eagerly anticipated matchup of the final round of Group matches, Roger Federer took sweet revenge as he outclassed the Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic 6-4,6-3 in the Bjorn Borg group to advance to the last four. It was the 49th meeting between the two legends in what was a knock out winner advances into the semi-final on Saturday after both were beaten by Dominic Thiem in their previous matches.
Federer served 12 aces and saved the only break point he faced, while Djokovic was broken three times, including the third game of the first set where he double faulted twice. Djokovic never recovered from there on and the loss ensured that the Spaniard Rafael Nadal finishes the year 2019 as the Top ranked player on Tour for the fifth time in his career, having achieved it in 2008,2010,2013,2017 and 2019.
In the first match on Thursday, the debutant Matteo Berrettini became the first player from Italy to win a match at the season ending finale as he defeated Dominic Thiem of Austria 7-6(3),6-3 to ensure he does not go home empty handed after being beaten in straight sets by both Djokovic and Federer. Thiem topped the Bjorn Borg group despite the loss.
In what was a must win match for Rafael Nadal to keep any hopes of qualifying for the last four alive, the French and U.S. Open champion fought back from one set down to beat Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-7(4),6-4,7-5. Nadal was impressive on his serve, something which has hardly been his biggest weapon as he did not face a break point in the entire match lasting two hours and fifty two minutes. Tsitsipas saved seven break points out of the nine he faced as he served 11 aces.
Despite the loss Tsitsipas topped group Andre Agassi while the Spaniard who finished with two wins in the group knew his fate would be decided by the outcome of the match between the defending champion Alexander Zverev of Germany and the winless Daniil Medvedev. The seventh ranked Zverev clinched the final spot with a 6-4,7-6(4) win and becomes only the fifth player in the history of the game to reach the last four in consecutive years, joining Federer, Djokovic, Nadal and Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland.
Following is the line up for the semi-final with my pick mentioned first:-
Roger Federer v. Stefanos Tsitsipas, Federer leads 2-1
Dominic Thiem v. Alexander Zverev, Thiem leads 5-2.
– Rasesh Mehta [Rasesh Mehta is an analyst with the Tennis Galaxy. You can reach him at the email: sportzcosmos@]