Flawless Federer too good for Djokovic

The beauty of tennis lies in its individuality. In its ability to showcase the synergy of styles as much as deepen the contrasts.

sports Updated: Nov 29, 2010 00:34 IST
Deepti Patwardhan
Deepti Patwardhan
Hindustan Times

The beauty of tennis lies in its individuality. In its ability to showcase the synergy of styles as much as deepen the contrasts.

With the tickets for the ATP World Tour finals being put on sale according to sessions rather than days, on the semi-final Saturday in London, it was difficult to judge which set of people was luckier.

The afternoon session saw an absolute epic, as Rafael Nadal downed Andy Murray in a battle of heavyweights that had more twists and turns than the nearby Thames. Those who came for the evening session, witnessed almost tennis perfection from Roger Federer.

The Swiss has looked flawless in the tournament so far, not dropping a set on his way to the final.

Novak Djokovic, whom Federer beat 6-1, 6-4 in the semi-final, said it best: Every ball is kind of listening to him.

And you could understand where Djokovic's frustration, and amazement, was coming from. Federer had the court measured from end to end, corner to corner, hitting winners so close to the lines, that on one point, having run the length of the baseline, Djokovic stopped, turned into a spectator and just let Federer slam away the ball.

The shouts of ,"Let's go Roger, let's go," subsided.

By the middle of the second set, with Djokovic resigned to his fate, every winner from Federer's racquet was followed with an applause. The tone in the stadium had changed from a rock'n roll concert to a recital.

The match between Nadal and Murray even left the spectators emotionally drained; Federer's performance was uplifting.

If Nadal's energy sent shockwaves through the roof of the O2 arena in London then Federer's shot-making was a kiss of death.

Becker says World Tour is tougher

It's the biggest event on the tennis calendar after the Grand Slams.

But earlier this week, seven-time Slam champion Boris Becker said that it required higher quality of play to win the ATP World Tour finals, where the top eight of the season compete, than to win a major.

Federer, who has won the season-ending Masters four times (2003, 04, 06, 07), agreed that, given the quality of the opposition, the players have to be more consistent at the tour finals. "It's a different type of tournament," the Swiss said after the match.

"Playing first up against a top-10 player is not something that's going to happen at a Grand Slam. Usually, this maybe requires a higher level of consistency from start to finish. It's tricky playing best-of-three matches, which, is less in your control.

“In a best-of-five match there's more ways to win; I find anyway. But I don't think it's as physical like it is at a Grand Slam," he said.

First Published: Nov 29, 2010 00:23 IST