Tuesday, November 13, 2012
''STAND UP FOR THE CHAMPION'! NOVAK DJOKOVIC BEATS FEDERER TO WIN ATP WORLD TOUR
World number one, Novak Djokovic put a firm stamp on his position as top seed one with a stunning victory over Roger Federer in the ATP World Tour Finals.
With one last lunge of 2012, Djokovic sent an astonishing backhand pass down the line, over the highest point of the net, to leave Swiss man Roger Federer flailing despairingly 7-6 (8-6) 7-5 to defeat.
Federer was attempting to become the first man since Ivan Lendl 25 years ago to win a hat-trick of season-ending championships, and his seventh overall.
Federer has made London's O2 Arena a second home in winning there for the last two years and, as ever, the Swiss did not lack for support.
The atmosphere might not have been cranked up at the start as it was in Sunday's semi-final against Andy Murray, but the Federer fans were in full voice as their man reeled off the first nine points.
Djokovic appeared nervous, fluffing a routine volley and firing long as he slipped, and there were ironic cheers when he finally got on the board in game three.
The winners were flowing from Federer but it was a case of brilliance against resilience as Djokovic dug in and weathered the storm by extending the rallies whenever possible.
Djokovic, who faced two set points at 5-4 down in the second set, began the season by winning the Australian Open in the searing heat of Melbourne and has finished it with a triumph under the huge dome in the cold of London, collecting another £1.1million in prize money.
There have been disappointments in between and although the major spoils have been shared among the Big Four, his consistency has seen him emerge way ahead of the pack, as the rankings will confirm on Tuesday morning.
The final point was played out much like the match, with Federer taking control only for Djokovic to come up with the answer - a spectacular backhand down the line on the stretch.
It was a breathtaking shot on which to end the tennis year, and one that summed up why Djokovic remains number one among such star-studded company.
"It's the best way to finish a match, I guess, with a passing shot - one of my favourite shots," he concluded.