Tennis

“My best memory of the ATP Finals was against Roger Federer”

Novak Djokovic is in his eighth ATP Finals title match in Turin, winning all four meetings and looking for a perfect week. When asked about his favorite ATP Finals memory, Novak brought up his 2012 win over Roger Federer in the title clash.

The Serb prevailed over the Swiss and beat him with a backhand winner down the line on the last point to celebrate the title. Djokovic defeated Federer 7-6, 7-5 in two hours and 15 minutes for his second ATP Finals crown.

Novak and Roger met for the fifth time in 2012, with the Serb taking the third win. Djokovic won one more point than Federer and both had seven break chances. Novak converted four and made the difference after losing serve three times.

Federer had more winners and unforced errors, with Novak forcing more than 40 errors from his opponent to emerge on top in their 29th Tour meeting and their 13th victory. Almost nothing could separate them in the shorter rallies until the four times.

In addition, Roger kept in touch with Novak in the longer rallies to stay competitive until the last point. Federer started the match with a zero serve after a game-winning volley into the net. He broke Novak without dropping a point in the second game to gain an instant lead and the best possible start.

The Swiss clinched game three with a forehand winner to move ahead 3-0 after just eight minutes, holding the lead and again threatening a return in the next game. Djokovic held after two deuces when his forehand down the line found the edge of the line.

Novak started to get a feel for the ball and broke in game five after Roger’s backhand error. After six deuces at 4-4, Novak converted the third break chance and moved on after another unforced error by Roger. Djokovic wasted a set point in the next game, and Roger pulled back the break at the last moment to level the score at 5-5 and extend the set.

Novak Djokovic defeated Roger Federer in the 2012 ATP Finals title match.

An ace moved Federer up 6-5, and Djokovic did a great job on serve despite receiving a medical timeout after falling to the ground and cutting his arm.

They remained neck-and-neck in the tiebreaker, and Roger fended off set point with a beautiful forehand cross at 5-6. Still, his backhand landed long on the next point, offering Novak another chance to clinch the set.

A forehand cross winner sealed the opener for the Serb after a grueling 72 minutes, prevailing despite an obvious struggle on his second serve. Novak saved a break chance early in the second set with a service winner.

He denied another after Roger’s loose backhand, and the Swiss squandered the third chance when his forehand landed long. Finally, Federer converted the fourth break point after a marathon game to build the lead. He hit three game winners in Game 2 to cement the break, just like in Game 1.

Roger stayed in front with an ace in the fourth game, and there was another break chance on the line in the next one that could have moved him closer to a decider. Novak saved it to stay within a break deficit before Roger delivered another terrific hold in game six for 4-2.

The Swiss fended off a break chance in game eight, forcing the Serb’s error to increase his lead to 5-3. Roger wasted two set points as he served for the set at 5-4. Novak fell back with an excellent forehand attack that forced an error from the defending champion and gave him momentum in the closing stages.

Djokovic served well after that break he suffered and kept the pressure on the other side. He broke Federer for the second time in a row with a perfect backhand down the line winner in game 12 that clinched the title, his first at this event in four years.

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