Tag: ATP Finals

ATP Finals: Federer pulls out of London final with back injury

Roger Federer pulled out of Sunday’s final at the O2 Arena with a back injury, handing Novak Djokovic his third consecutive World Tour Finals title.

Federer came out on court half an hour before the match was due to start and apologised to the crowd after revealing he was unable to play.

“I’m sorry I’m here in a tracksuit,” said Federer, 33. “Unfortunately I’m not match fit to play the match tonight. I hope you understand. Clearly I wish it wasn’t so. I didn’t want it to end this way.

“I did everything I could. I took pain-killers, had rest until the very end, but I just cannot compete at this level with Novak. At my age it would have been a risk.”

Federer, who is due to play for Switzerland in next weekend’s Davis Cup final against France, aggravated his back during the third-set tie-breaker of his semi-final win against Stan Wawrinka. The world No.2, who struggled with back problems in 2013, saved four match points before beating Wawrinka 4-6 7-5 7-6(6) in two hours and 48 minutes.

He did not finish his media duties after the win until 1am and reportedly did not leave his central London hotel until 3.30pm on Sunday, with the final due to start at 6pm, missing his scheduled afternoon practice session.

“It’s a very disappointing end to the season,” Federer added in his press conference. “I was playing so well here, had a great season so far. I was feeling great until yesterday’s tie-breaker. I felt all of a sudden the back was feeling funny.

“I tried to have treatment on it, medication on it, just tried to turn around as quick as possible really, but didn’t really feel that much of an improvement overnight.

Read more at ESPN

ATP Finals: Federer edges Wawrinka epic to set up Djokovic final

Roger Federer saved four match points before securing a dramatic 4-6 7-5 7-6(6) win against Stan Wawrinka to book a showdown with Novak Djokovic for the World Tour Finals title.

The world No.2 came from a set down to win a third-set tie-breaker against the man he will line up alongside for Switzerland in next weekend’s Davis Cup final.

At two hours and 48 minutes, it was by far the longest match at the tournament and just the fourth to go to three sets.

“I think I’m very lucky tonight,” said Federer. “Stan played better from the baseline. I kept believing, kept fighting. He did all the right things, it was tough. But I’m thrilled to be in another final here in London.

“I’ve saved a lot of break points, match points in the last few months. I thought, let’s try to do it one more time. I feel very lucky to be doing this interview right now.

“He [Djokovic] looks great, he’s playing fantastic. It was a great match against Kei [Nishikori]. He brings the best out of me. I hope I can do the same.”

Federer, featuring in a record-equalling 12th semi-final at the event, had saved all seven break points he had faced this week, however, Wawrinka managed to break him not once but twice for a 5-2 lead in the first.

The world No.2 pulled one break back, but Wawrinka held serve to close out the set in 35 minutes.

Wawrinka then managed to save three break points to keep the second set on serve at 3-3, though, serving to stay in it, he dumped a simple overhead into the net to gift Federer three set points. Federer duly took his first with Wawrinka planting a backhand into the net.

Federer, bidding for a ninth final at the event, was immediately broken to love in the decider, though, having remonstrated with the umpire at 0-40 after claiming he didn’t hear an overrule so challenged too late.

Wawrinka then denied Federer by saving two break points and going 5-3 up to close in on victory. A dramatic next game saw Federer save three match points before taking his second break point to stay in the match, with the O2 Arena erupting.

The drama didn’t end there. Federer was then forced to save two break points before going 6-5 ahead, with Wawrinka holding to ensure a tie-breaker.

Federer raced into a 2-0 lead before Wawrinka battled back to lead 6-5. However, Federer saved match point again before bringing up his first, taking the tie-breaker 8-6 to secure the win.

Read more at ESPN

ATP Finals: Djokovic survives Nishikori scare to reach final

Novak Djokovic earned himself a shot at a third consecutive World Tour Finals title after battling past Kei Nishikori in three sets in Saturday’s first semi-final at the O2 Arena.

After a litany of one-sided matches in the round robin stage, Djokovic looked set to continue the theme by easing through the first set but Nishikori stunned the world No.1 by taking the second to force a decider.

It was just the third time at these Tour Finals that the O2 Arena had seen a third set, and Djokovic regained his composure to eventually ease through it for a 6-1 3-6 6-0 win in one hour and 27 minutes.

“Honestly, today I found it a little bit difficult mentally to stay concentrated throughout the whole match,” Djokovic said in his press conference. “After emotional three matches I had, especially yesterday when I achieved the goal to finish as No.1 of the world, knowing that, I felt a little bit flat emotionally. I needed a little bit more time to kind of give myself a boost.

“I was fortunate because in the beginning of the third set, he had break points. If he broke me, the match could have gone either way. I managed to find that little bit of strength and get a win today.

“Tomorrow is the last match of the season. It’s one of the biggest tournaments in the world, aside of the grand slams. This is already the biggest possible motivation. I will try to give everything I have.”

Read more at ESPN

ATP Finals: Novak Djokovic beats Tomas Berdych

Novak Djokovic crushed Tomas Berdych 6-2 6-2 to reach the last four of the World Tour Finals and clinch the year-end No.1 ranking.

Djokovic secured an immediate double break and wrapped up the first set in just 31 minutes, securing his place in the semi-finals at the O2 Arena.

The second set began the same way as Djokovic raced into a 4-0 lead before completing the rout in one hour and nine minutes, racking up his 30th straight win indoors, a streak which extends across three seasons.

“It’s a great deal of happiness knowing that what I’ve been through the entire season in order to get to where I am and finish the year as No.1,” said Djokovic. “I owe gratitude to my team, to all the people who were next to me.

“It’s one of the ultimate challenges. Being No.1 of the world is the pinnacle of the sport.”

It is the third time in four years that Djokovic has finished the year at No.1, as he chases a third consecutive World Tour Finals title.

In 2014, he claimed his seventh grand slam at Wimbledon, and has won other six titles, including four Masters crowns in Indian Wells, Miami, Rome and Paris.

“One of the highest and most difficult challenges is to be No.1 nowadays, especially because the tennis has become very competitive in the last five, 10 years, very physical,” added Djokovic. “To have a shot at No. 1 of the world, you need to be consistently healthy and successful throughout the year.

“Because [Rafael] Nadal and [Roger] Federer are so good for so many years, they always make you win at least one or two grand slams if you eventually want to be No.1, and of course with consistency, because they’ve been so consistent with their results. I know how difficult it is. It’s why I’m proud of this achievement.”

Djokovic now faces Kei Nishikori in the semi-finals on Saturday and is anticipating a battle.

Read more at ESPN

Tennis: ATP Finals: Andy Murray knocked out by Roger Federer

Roger Federer thrashed Andy Murray 6-0 6-1 to end the Briton’s ATP World Tour Finals hopes in humiliating fashion.

The 17-time Grand Slam champion needed just 56 minutes to win his third Group B match and reach the semi-finals.

Murray required a straight-sets win to qualify but won only eight points in the first set and did not win a game until 6-0 5-0 down.

The result is Murray’s worst since he lost 6-1 6-0 to Novak Djokovic in Miami seven years ago.

Japanese world number five Kei Nishikori qualifies behind Federer after his earlier 4-6 6-4 6-1 victory over Spaniard David Ferrer – a replacement for the injured Milos Raonic.

“Clearly, I’m very happy to play a good match today,” Federer said. “I knew I was qualified so maybe I went in a bit more relaxed.

“It’s not the way I thought it was going to go, but there’s always next year for Andy and hopefully he can have a good season.

“At the end I was happy I didn’t win the second to last game to be quite honest.”

After 24 minutes, Murray’s progress in the tournament was over as he suffered his first 6-0 set loss in four years.

“It was a tough night,” Murray said.

“I’ve lost Grand Slam finals, which have been very tough, but in terms of the way the match went it was not ideal from my side of the court – far from it.

“He played exceptionally well, that’s for sure. I can say I’m disappointed with my level tonight but if I played well, he probably still would have won anyway.”

A tight, tense encounter had been anticipated with the Scot needing a fast start, and Federer keen to win the group and so probably avoid top seed Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals.

In the event, only one player brought anything like his best game.

The 17,000 spectators packed into the O2 must have thought they were in a for classic when Murray won the opening two points on Federer’s serve, before the Swiss won an epic 34-stroke rally on the third.

From that moment on it was one-way traffic as Murray struggled to find first serves and Federer produced some sublime tennis.

Read more on BBC Sport

Tennis: ATP Finals: Novak Djokovic destroys Stan Wawrinka

Novak Djokovic produced another scintillating performance to beat Stan Wawrinka at the ATP World Tour Finals.

The world number one recovered from losing the first two games to win 12 of the next 13 in a 6-3 6-0 win.

He has not lost at the O2 Arena since 2011 and is now unbeaten in 29 matches indoors.

Djokovic remains top of Group A with his final round-robin match against Tomas Berdych to come.

The Serb will guarantee the year-end number one ranking with another win on Friday, and it is hard to see who can stop him claiming a hat-trick of ATP World Tour Finals titles on Sunday.

“I swung through my shots and he made a lot of unforced errors,” Djokovic said. “He wasn’t close to his best and I succeeded very well with what I wanted to do.”

“On my side, I just played very solid from all over the court. I think I covered the court very well, got a lot of balls back, mixed up the pace, got him off the comfort zone. That’s something that was part of my game plan.

“After I lost the first two games, obviously I didn’t start so great. I thought he played very well the first two games. But I wasn’t frustrated, I kept my calm.

“After that, it was a really amazing performance.”

Read more on BBC Sport

Tennis: ATP Finals: Andy Murray beats Milos Raonic to keep Finals hopes alive

Britain’s Andy Murray kept his ATP World Tour Finals hopes alive with a straight-sets win over Milos Raonic at the O2 Arena.

Murray would have been been eliminated with a defeat but came through a tense match 6-3 7-5.

He will face Roger Federer in his final Group B encounter on Thursday, with a semi-final place still up for grabs.

Federer earlier beat Kei Nishikori 6-3 6-2 to top the standings after two matches.

“On Sunday, there wasn’t much magic,” said Murray. “Today I came up with some good shots in the right moments. Milos didn’t serve as well as he can and that helped.”

The signs had not been particularly good for Murray heading into Tuesday’s do-or-die contest after a poor opening display against Nishikori and with only one win in four matches against Raonic.

There was plenty on the line for the Canadian too, however, and it was Murray who coped better with the occasion.

That he was able to clinch victory in two sets could prove decisive when the final standings are calculated.

Read more on BBC Sport

Tennis: ATP Finals: Andy Murray to face Roger Federer

Britain’s Andy Murray has been drawn in the same group as Roger Federer for the ATP World Tour Finals in London.

Murray, 27, has won three titles in the past six weeks to qualify for the eight-man season-ending tournament, which takes place from 9-16 November.

The Scot is in Group B along with Swiss second seed Federer, Japan’s Kei Nishikori and Milos Raonic of Canada.

Top seed Novak Djokovic, Switzerland’s Stan Wawrinka, Czech Tomas Berdych and Marin Cilic of Croatia are in Group A.

Murray will open play at the O2 at 14:00 GMT on Sunday against Nishikori, followed by Federer against Raonic at 20:00.

Wawrinka and Berdych begin proceedings on Monday, with Djokovic and Cilic in the evening session.

The top two players in each group will progress to the semi-finals, with the standings based initially on match wins, although it can come down to the percentage of games won or even world rankings as the final tie-breaker.

Murray has avoided defending champion Djokovic, who beat him at the Paris Masters last week to end his 11-match winning run.

But the 2013 Wimbledon champion will face Federer, who is attempting to regain the world number one spot and win this title for a seventh time.

Read more on BBC Sport