Djokovic grinds down Federer to win season finale

Mon Nov 12, 2012 6:12pm EST
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By Martyn Herman

LONDON (Reuters) - Serbia's Novak Djokovic cemented his place as the world's top tennis player when he dethroned Roger Federer in an enthralling showdown at the ATP World Tour Finals, grinding down the Swiss to take the title 7-6 7-5.

Federer has been all but unbeatable in the cavernous O2 Arena since it began hosting the tournament in 2009 and was seeking a hat-trick of titles but despite some typical brilliance he was stopped in his tracks by the world number one.

The 17,000 crowd inside the Thames-side landmark created an electric atmosphere as a wildly fluctuating final unfolded.

Djokovic found himself 3-0 down in the opening set and 5-3 down in the second but the never-say-die Serb dug deep into his seemingly endless reserves of fighting spirit on both occasions before sealing victory in two hours 14 minutes.

It was his first title at the ATP's blue riband event since 2008 in Shanghai and he pocketed the $1.76m for going through the tournament with a 100 percent record having won all his round-robin matches.

Fittingly, his victory was his career-best 75th win of the year that while not quite as spectacular as 2011 when he won three of the year's four grand slams, was equally satisfying.

In 2011 when he won the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open and took the world No.1 ranking for the first time he managed only 70 wins.

It was only the fourth time in the tournament's history that the world's top two players had contested the final and it did not disappoint.   Continued...

Novak Djokovic of Serbia raises the trophy after beating Switzerland's Roger Federer in their final tennis match during the ATP World Tour Finals at the O2 Arena in London November 12, 2012. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett