Roger Federer has won his first reunion with his long-time rival Novak Djokovic since the bitter final defeat at Wimbledon. At the ATP Finals in London, he once again reached the knockout round. The revenge succeeded, the maestro remains in the race: Roger Federer has reached the semi-finals at the ATP Finals in London by a highly deserved victory over his permanent rival Novak Djokovic. The 38-year-old Swiss won the reissue of this year's Wimbledon finals on Thursday evening after an impressive performance of 6: 4, 6: 3, reaching the knockout round for the 16th time in his 17th appearance in the elite tournament of the eight season best. Djokovic has been eliminated.
"It was a great atmosphere, a great opponent, I enjoyed it from the start and played really well," said Federer, who scored his 23rd win in a 49th-minute deal with Djokovic. He meets on Saturday for the start of the knockout phase on the Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas. Last year he had lost in the semifinals against the eventual winner Alexander Zverev. With six triumphs so far, he holds the record at the traditional end of season event, but his last title win dates back to the year 2011. For Djokovic the season ends on the ATP tour, however, with a disappointment. The US Open and Wimbledon winner also missed the hoped-for return to world rankings position one, now defended by Rafael Nadal. However, Djokovic still has the chance of a successful year-end at the premiere of the new Davis Cup final tournament in Madrid with Serbia.Federer celebrates already after 73 minutesThe atmosphere in the sold-out o2 arena was electrifying from the start. As expected, almost 20,000 viewers overwhelmingly sided with audience favorite Federer. He thanked the support with a strong start. After a sovereign own service game he quickly managed the first break of the day to 2: 1. Federer moved well and dictated most rallies, especially at their own service. He also managed to produce in the long ball changes – otherwise usually one of the strengths of Djokovic – hardly mistakes and thus to conquer his opponent. His lead held and after 35 minutes he finished the first round with his already eighth ace.Also in the second set offered a similar picture at first. With the difference that now also Djokovic worked out first chances. At the score of 2: 1 in his view, he had the first breakball of the day. But Federer kept up the pressure, also put on a break and was in the episode clearly on course for victory. After 1:13 hours Federer was allowed to cheer. In the afternoon, French Open finalist Dominic Thiem had already conceded his first defeat in the group "Björn Borg" at the end of the preliminary round. The Austrian, who after qualifying for Federer and Djokovic was already qualified for the semifinals of the elite tournament, lost to Matteo Berrettini 6: 7 (3: 7), 3: 6. Berrettini had no chance of progressing before.