Roger Federer can still end his year on a high by winning the Davis Cup for the first time next week, but he will not go into 2015 as the world’s best player. Federer had put the world No 1 ranking in his sights with his fine run after the US Open, but Novak Djokovic today ensured that he will end the campaign on top of the world for the third time in four years.
In beating Tomas Berdych 6-2, 6-2 to secure his place in the semi-finals of the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, Djokovic put himself in an unassailable position at the top of the list. He is the seventh player to finish year-end No 1 on three or more occasions after Pete Sampras, Jimmy Connors, Federer, Ivan Lendl, John McEnroe and Rafael Nadal.
Djokovic, who is aiming to win the title here for the third year in a row, will face Kei Nishikori in the first of the semi-finals this afternoon. The 24-year-old Japanese beat him at the US Open in September before Djokovic earned revenge in Paris two weeks ago.
“He’s experiencing the best season of his life,” Djokovic said. “He’s playing some great tennis. He’s one of the quickest players around. Deservedly he’s in the semi-finals here on his debut. I expect a tougher match than it was in Paris, that’s for sure, but the conditions indoors and outdoors, where I lost to him in the US Open, are quite different. I’m feeling pretty confident playing now.”
The tournament is heading towards a dream final between Federer and Djokovic. Federer was waiting last night to learn the identity of his opponent in tomorrow evening’s second semi-final. Stan Wawrinka, his Swiss Davis Cup colleague, needed to win only three games to reach the semi-finals at the expense of his opponent, Marin Cilic whose form has dipped since winning this year’s US Open.Reuse content