The World Tour Finals ends on Sunday evening with the final that many anticipated as Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer face off for the second time this week for the final tour match of the season. The pair were set to face off in the final of last years event as well, only for Federer to withdraw due to injury.
Early defeat in Paris to John Isner left Federer with plenty of preparation time for the season ending event and it looks to have done him good as he has bounced back in some style from that defeat, going unbeaten on his way to the final thanks to wins over Djokovic, Tomas Berdych, Kei Nishikori and Stanislas Wawrinka.
He came from a break down in the first set to win in straights 7-5 6-3 and has shown a deadly efficiency on break points this past week including going 6 for 6 against Nishikori. He had the clear advantage over Wawrinka in longer rallies, overwhelming his compatriot 33-12 when it came to points that were longer than 5 shots.
Meanwhile, Djokovic looked unflustered by his round robin loss to Federer with straight forward victories over Tomas Berdych and Rafael Nadal following the defeat. Nadal playing two and a half hours the previous day probably didn’t help the Spaniard’s chances but he had no answers for Djokovic who put on a stunning display to win 6-3 6-3. Djokovic was in control from the start and didn’t even give Nadal a look in on return, dropping just three points on first serve and facing zero break points.
In the round robin stage, Djokovic was sloppy and this showed in his unforced error count of 22 to just 12 winners. Djokovic admitted that he had it tough out there in the 7-5 6-2 loss.
“He used the slice and spin very wisely. He served very efficiently. I made a lot of, lot of unforced errors. (I) just handed him the win, especially in the second set.” Djokovic said.
Federer’s victory Tuesday saw him pull ahead on the head to head once more at 22-21, denying Djokovic the opportunity to lead that rivalry for the first time. He must eventually take the lead and can move one step closer to doing so by equalling it up in the final.
While Djokovic was poor earlier in the week, it’s clear that he stepped it up a few notches on Saturday in his victory over Nadal and if he puts up a similar performance against Federer, the result will be far from the same. Djokovic’s stunning 2015 will either end with him at 80-6 or 79-7 alongside a whole host of titles with 30 or 31 top 10 wins amongst it, an ATP record.
Prediction – Djokovic in straight sets