LONDON: Novak Djokovic will face Roger Federer in Sunday’s (Monday in Manila) World Tour Final when he attempts to lift the trophy for a fifth time and become the first player to win the season-ending showpiece four years in a row.
Djokovic said clashes between the pair were always nervy affairs as he prepared to face his rival for a second time at London’s O2 Arena this week — Federer having got the better of the Serb in the group stage.
But Djokovic pulled out a near-perfect performance as he downed the resurgent Rafael Nadal 6-3, 6-3 in their semi-final clash on Saturday.
Federer then defeated Swiss compatriot Stan Wawrinka 7-5, 6-3 to book his place in the final.
Sunday is a repeat of last year’s final, which Djokovic won by a walkover after Federer withdrew with an injury, something he has rarely done in his career.
“I don’t feel unbeatable, but it does definitely feel great when I’m playing the way I played,” Djokovic said after his dazzling display against Nadal.
“I’ve lost against Roger three times this year. When he’s on, it’s hard to play him,” said the Serb, who has also beaten Federer four times in 2015, all in finals.
“We always play matches with a lot of tension. There is a lot at stake. I know I have to be on top in order to win against him. Hopefully I’ll be able to play better than I’ve done a few days ago.
“But the performance (against Nadal) definitely gives me reason to believe that I’ll do that.”
Djokovic could claim $1,050,000 in prize money if he wins, while Federer would receive $2,228,000 for winning the title undefeated.
‘Flawless, incredible tennis’
After a miserable 2015 campaign, Nadal had looked somewhere close to his best over the last week.
The Spaniard won all three of his group matches to reach the semi-finals but there was little he could do to stop Djokovic in this sort of form.