Sunday, November 11, 2012

ATP TOUR FINALS 2012: Federer-Djokovic Final

The semifinals of the ATP World Tour Finals featured Novak Djokovic versus Juan Martin del Potro and Roger Federer versus Andy Murray. I had predicted that whomever faced Djokovic would be unable to prevent the new World #1 to reach the final. The first semifinal was a reprise of the Bronze Medal match from the London 2012 Olympics. Del Potro stunned Djokovic that day to claim a rare Olympic medal for Argentina, but no one expected him to be able to repeat that performance. However, del Potro put up a much bigger fight than I expected, going up a set and a break before succumbing to yet another Djokovic comeback 4-6 6-3 6-2.

The other semifinal was a reprise of the 2012 Wimbledon final and the 2012 Gold Medal match at the London Olympics. Murray had won the last two meetings he had with Federer and had lead their overall head-to-head 10-8. I had predicted that he would win this showdown as well and he started the match being very aggressive and broke the Swiss Great's serve in the very first game. Murray maintained his advantage through the 8th game when he was broken and the match remained even until the first set tiebreak which was won by Federer. Murray lost his serve in the very first game of the second set and then went down a second break in the 7th game. Thanks to excellent serving by Federer, he lost a sum total of 2 points on his serve during the entire set and ended up winning the match 7-6(5) 6-2.

So the last tour match of the year will be played between World #1 and World #2. Federer leads Djokovic head-to-head 16-12 and has won the last two meetings, at the 2012 Wimbledon semifinals and the 2012 Cincinnati Masters final, after losing the other 2 times they played this year (2012 French Open semifinals and 2012 Rome Masters semifinals).

Djokovic is undefeated so far this year at the tour-ending championships while Federer has won this tournament for the last two years in a row and a record 6 times in his career. However, Federer lost a tough 3-set match to Del Potro in the round-robin round and has not been playing his sharpest tennis this year.

I still believe that if Federer plays his best tennis and Djokovic plays his best tennis that Federer will win. Spaces where he is very comfortable (like Wimbledon's Centre Court and London's O2 Arena) can bring out some of his best tennis. Federer should also be on a high after again proving his ability to thwart Murray and almost certainly wants to repeat the result with Djokovic.

MadProfessah's prediction: Federer.

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