LONDON: Even the best player in the world can have an off day, especially when he’s playing someone many believe is the best of all time.
Roger Federer brought his top game to the O2 Arena on Tuesday, stopping Novak Djokovic’s ATP Finals winning streak at 15 by beating the top-seeded Serb 7-5, 6-2.
The world number one would probably have beaten most players, even with the errors piling up and his serve out of sync, but not Swiss great Federer who sealed a semi-final spot at the season-ending tournament for the 13th time in 14 appearances with a match to spare.
“I wouldn’t have picked it maybe before the tournament, just because of his really good record on the indoors, the year he’s had,” said Federer, who lost to Djokovic in the Wimbledon and US Open finals.
Three-time defending champion Djokovic, on a 23-match winning streak, suffered his first defeat since losing to Federer in the Cincinnati final on August 23.
Djokovic’s first indoor loss since 2012, means he needs to beat Czech Tomas Berdych on Thursday to be sure of joining Federer in the semi-finals.
Japan’s Kei Nishikori beat Berdych 7-5, 3-6, 6-3 in the day’s early offering, the first three-set match so far.