Roger Federer 'excited' for meeting with Novak Djokovic at ATP Finals
Roger Federer has shared that he's excited to face Novak Djokovic at the ATP Finals and is eager to gain some “more information” on his opponent on Tuesday night.
Federer brushed aside a first round-robin loss to Dominic Thiem with a 7-6 (7-2) 6-3 victory over Matteo Berrettini during the afternoon session on the third day of the competition.
The performance saw Federer hold off a gutsy opening set from the Italian before he moved through the gears in the tiebreak and completed the second set well.
Next on the cards for Federer will be a meeting with Djokovic, their first since their recent Wimbledon final and before that the Serb will face Dominic Thiem during Tuesday's evening session.
Back in July, the four-hour-and-57-minute Wimbledon final, the longest in history, left its mark as Federer was unable to convert match points and now he's eager to get back out there.
"I'm excited playing against him. I'm excited to see how he's going to play tonight, as well.
It's definitely going to give me some more information about what to expect," the six-time winner of the ATP Finals said.
"I think I need to focus on my game, what I do best. And regardless of what I need to do, I just hope I play well."
Federer won 78 percent of points on his first serve against Berrettini
Federer's hopes to play well will include him building upon the fluidity that he started to find against Berrettini.
In his first match of the competition against Thiem, the 20-time Grand Slam winner didn't look as serene as usual and his movement wasn't as easy and effortless as it can be.
However, as is always the case with Federer, the fans roared him on regardless and the 38-year-old shared how that impacts him when he's out on court at The O2.
"I'm very happy [with the support]. It's very helpful to stay motivated on the tour," he shared.
On Thursday those fans will be back as Federer and Djokovic duel in the most eagerly anticipated of all of the round-robin matches.
With such an unforgettable last encounter - that 7-6 (7-5) 1-6 7-6 (7-4) 4-6 13-12 (7-3) loss - can Federer simply park the heartbreak and hurt and move into this meeting with a fresh outlook?
"We have played a lot of matches since, and I think we both look back at a great match [at Wimbledon]," he noted.
"I think we both can take away some confidence from the match. Him obviously a lot, me maybe a tad bit less.
"Actually, it's good for me to play him again, and maybe that all helps to get a chance to get him back or whatever it is, but at the end of the day, I'm here for the World Tour Finals and not because of the Wimbledon finals."
If Federer does prevail over Djokovic and then over every other player standing in his way in London, he would secure a seventh ATP Finals title and created yet another piece of tennis history.
Of course on the other hand, the Serb has his eyes firmly fixed on the year-end world No 1 spot and after Rafael Nadal's early slip up Djokovic's focus will be razor sharp.
In all, the scene is set for another classic clash, albeit a shorter one, when these two giants of the game meet in London.