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Novak Djokovic on top of the world after best year and Roger Federer World Tour victory

By Eleanor Crooks

Novak Djokovic hailed the contribution of his team - led by coach Boris Becker - after finishing the season of his life on top of the world by beating Roger Federer to win the ATP World Tour Finals in London.

Djokovic's 6-3 6-4 victory made him the first man ever to win the season-ending tournament - worth £1.35m to the winner - four times in a row and brought him his 11th title of a remarkable year.

It was a perfect 48th birthday present for Becker - Wimbledon's youngest ever champion at the age of 17 - who can take a lot of credit for his charge's dominance.

The result also means Scot Andy Murray is guaranteed to finish the year ahead of Federer at world number two for the first time.

Had Djokovic won the French Open, there would surely be no argument about it being the best season in tennis history.

The only tournament in which he did not reach the final was his first of the season, with the Serbian the first man ever to reach 15 consecutive finals in a season, and his haul included three grand slams and six Masters series trophies.

"Obviously I'm very proud, together with my team, for the achievements of the season. It could not have been a better finish. It's been a long season, but the best of my life," he said.

"I'm trying to cherish every moment on court where I play at this level.

"When you are a kid growing up you dream of winning big tournaments like this.

"Well done to Roger for making it such a difficult match - I'm sure we will have plenty of hard matches next season."

Federer was generous in defeat at the O2 Arena.

He said: "It's never fun not being on the winning side, but it's better than not playing at all like last year. First of all I'll say how happy I am that could play.

"This week was great again, and it's been a fantastic year all around. I tried my best, I thought I played some great tennis all week and in the final, but Novak deserves the win like so many times this year."

This was the eighth meeting of the year between Djokovic and Federer, who played off for both the Wimbledon and US Open titles, both won by the former.

But the world number one had been far from his best when they met in the group stages at the O2 Arena on Tuesday, suffering his first loss in 24 matches and first indoors since 2012.

However, any question marks about his form were put to bed by a ruthless display against Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals.

Federer went into the final unbeaten and chasing a record seventh title at the event.

At least he was able to take to the court, which was not the case last year when back problems forced him to withdraw ahead of the final, handing Djokovic the title.

Both men had chances in the crucial opening stages but it was Djokovic who took his, breaking serve in the third game when Federer netted a forehand.

The Swiss - who beat fellow countryman Stan Wawrinka in the semi-finals - needed to be at his best but errors on big points, particularly off the backhand wing, were hurting him.

He missed a routine shot when a chance opened up to make it 3-3 and Djokovic made him pay by breaking again to take the set.

Federer had only once beaten Djokovic from a set down in their 43 previous meetings, so the omens were not good.

Two match points soon followed. He missed one but did not have to do anything on the second as the pressure told on Federer and he double-faulted.

The result means after 90 matches against Federer and Nadal, Djokovic is tied with both.

As for Murray, attention now turns to the Davis Cup Final in Belgium at the weekend.

Belfast Telegraph


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