The year end is here, and so is the ATP World Tour Finals. The best men of tennis from the year are back to compete for the one final prize, the trophy which will make this year and awesome one. With Roger Federer having won the title six times and Novak Djokovic four times, there is nobody else in the top ten who has won this one – well, there is nobody even in the top 200. So with eight top players ready, there were six trying to get their hands on the big prize for the first time.
The one person who really should win this title though, is Rafael Nadal. He came second twice here, and deserves to win this title to make his achievements even better. But he couldn’t go past the World Number in the knock-out stage, as Djokovic has been far ahead of the rest of the ATP throughout the year, except for Federer who could manage something against the Serbian juggernaut. Nadal could still top the group which didn’t have Federer and Djokovic who were to fight against each other early to a Swiss win.
Nadal still went past Andy Murray and Stanislas Wawrinka without much trouble. Surprisingly, it was Wawrnika who joined Nadal in the other match of the semi-finals and not Murray. He came second by beating the last of the Big Four and David Ferrer who became the only man who could bring the fight to Nadal in that group; he will always be the greatest fighter of all time in men’s tennis. I have often wondered if he is the best player of this century never to have won a Grand Slam.
Meanwhile, in the other group, Tomáš Berdych and Kei Nishikori couldn’t go past the two men who won twenty seven Grand Slam titles and one hundred and fourty six singles titles between then; Djokovic lost only to Federer who made it perfect with cent percent wins, and the rest could only watch. With this tournament, Federer also has the most number of ATP World Tour Finals appearances, and he has played fourteen of these tournaments continuously until this one.
With Djokovic having an easy victory against Nadal who came nowhere close, Federer made it past Wawrinka in straight sets making the final once again a clash of the titans. Djokovic is the tree-time defending champion with this title, and last year had Federer not playing in the final due to health issues and Djokovic winning by a walkover. This final was to be a repeat of the last year’s ATP World Tour Finals match which never really happened, and so the fans were to be a lot excited.
When they went into the finals, the rivalry between the two players had Federer leading by 22–21 head to head; the Swiss Master being the only person in the big four and the current top players to have a positive head to head record against the World Number One even as it is such a small lead. Djokovic actually had a great year, and even though he was defeated by Federer in the group stages, he was the favourite considering how well and consistently he had played throughout the year.
Federer couldn’t win his last three Grand Slam finals against Djokovic. This one was opportunity for Djokovic to erase the negative head to head record with Federer too, and he did exactly that. He started the favourite in this tournament and he ends it as the winner. This ends an almost perfect year for him, with only the French Open somehow keeping away from him – that was rather a surprise. With three Grand Slam wins, a Slam final and a victory in the year end tournament, Djokovic seems to be ready to dominate men’s tennis for some more time.
***The images used in this blog post are from the Official Facebook Pages of the two players.