LONDON (Information) – Roger Federer has one of many world’s greatest overheads so when he botched two smashes on his solution to dropping serve within the second sport of his ATP Finals semi-final towards Stefanos Tsitsipas on Saturday he knew it may be a tough day.
Tennis – ATP Finals – The O2, London, Britain – November 16, 2019 Switzerland’s Roger Federer reacts throughout his semi ultimate match towards Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas Information/Peter Nicholls
So it proved because the 20-times Grand Slam champion went down 6-Three 6-Four to the 21-year-old Greek who has taken the event by storm on his debut look.
Whereas Tsitsipas, in Federer’s phrases, was “as onerous as nails”, the Swiss nice transformed solely one of many 12 break factors as his hopes of a seventh title on the season-ender fell flat.
“I believe getting damaged with lacking two smashes in a single sport, that hasn’t occurred in a protracted, very long time or ever,” the 38-year-old instructed reporters. “In order that was robust.
“That’s not one thing you’ll be able to practice or practise for. That’s robust, simply ft weren’t fairly there but, nonetheless not fairly getting used to the excessive every one that stuff.”
Though failing to scale the heights he achieved on Thursday when beating Novak Djokovic, Federer didn’t play badly.
Had he taken his probabilities it might have been completely different and the ninth sport of the primary set, an exhilarating 13-minute baseline battle through which Federer saved six set factors earlier than the aggressive Tsitsipas lastly sealed the set, was essential.
Federer did reply after being damaged early within the second set, however Tsitsipas refused to take a backward step as he claimed a second win of the yr over Federer.
Tsitsipas’s victory meant the final of the large three of Federer, Djokovic and Rafael Nadal have been out of the unique year-ender.
With the opposite semi-final between defending champion Alexander Zverev, 22, and 26-year-old Dominic Thiem, it’s maybe one other sign that the previous guard are underneath assault like by no means earlier than. Or maybe not.
“I simply suppose they’ve confirmed their level this yr by qualifying for the ATP Finals, and likewise now not less than one in all them making it to the finals and possibly additionally Sascha once more repeating what he did final yr,” Federer mentioned.
“However then I have a look at the record of who completed world primary, who has been world primary all these years, and it’s simply loopy that it’s at all times one in all us.
“However we aren’t getting any youthful. So probabilities enhance not as a result of we’re getting worse however as a result of they’re getting higher, I imagine.”
One suspects Tsitsipas’s fearless, attacking type would get the nod of approval from Federer and he was beneficiant in his reward for the teen who has made beautiful progress into the world’s high 10 this yr.
“I’ve to credit score him for pushing me to not enjoying on the stage I hoped to right this moment,” Federer mentioned. “It’s his footwork that’s at all times on the aggressive aspect.
“Any quick ball might be attacked, and I believe he does that very, very nicely. He’s among the finest at that within the sport.
“He did give you the products when he needed to, and he was higher than me right this moment.”
Regardless of profitable 4 titles this yr to take his profession haul to 104, Federer failed so as to add to his Grand Slam assortment.
However he stays upbeat concerning the future.
“I’ve received to maintain on enjoying on the stage like I’ve this yr, after which I’ll create some probabilities,” he mentioned.
Reporting by Martyn Herman, enhancing by Ed Osmond