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Fed rolls back years to defeat Djokovic

 

What a feeling: Roger Federer celebrates his win over Novak Djokovic in London last night
What a feeling: Roger Federer celebrates his win over Novak Djokovic in London last night

By Andy Sims

Roger Federer stunned Novak Djokovic to reach the semi-finals of the ATP Finals in London last night and end the Serbian's bid to finish the year as World No.1.

The 38-year-old Swiss came through a straight shoot-out in the group stage with his great rival, winning their 49th meeting 6-4 6-3.

Djokovic's defeat, coupled with his loss to Dominic Thiem, saw him fail to qualify for the last four in London for the first time since 2011.

It also meant Rafael Nadal will end the year at the top of the world rankings for the fifth time, tying with both Federer and Djokovic.

Meanwhile, Matteo Berrettini signed off from London's 02 Arena by becoming the first Italian to win a match at the ATP Finals with a surprise victory over Thiem.

The big-serving 23-year-old, beaten in his first two matches by Djokovic and Federer, won 7-6 (3) 6-3.

Berrettini knew he could not qualify for the semi-finals, while Austrian Thiem was already through following his wins over Djokovic and Federer.

It was at least a winning end to a successful season for Berrettini, who began the year ranked 54th.

The eighth seed and final qualifier for the season-ending tournament said: "I'm really proud of myself and for my team, my family and my friends.

"It's been an unbelievable season and I didn't expect at the beginning to be here. I hope to be back next year. I'm happy to finish with a win.

"I always have great fights with Thiem. I was able to stay mentally focused even when I lost my serve, and I played a great tie-break. I'm not feeling great physically so I'm happy with my performance."

Thiem's below-par display could be put down to the cold he has been carrying this week.

The 26-year-old fifth seed at least has an extra day to recover before facing one of Stefanos Tsitsipas, Alexander Zverev, Nadal or Daniil Medvedev in the last four.

He said: "I think I felt the two first matches a little bit, and then also it's a bit of a tricky situation to know that I'm already through. So all the attention, the adrenaline, is set down a little bit.

"Of course I was still trying to win that match, 100 per cent. But at the same time I knew I had to take care for Saturday, because obviously it's the way more important match there."

Earlier Joe Salisbury's bid to reach the semi-finals in the doubles came to an end.

The 27-year-old, Britain's sole representative at the Finals, and his American partner Rajeev Ram lost a match tie-breaker to Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo.

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