World No 2 surprised himself after halting Novak Djokovic’s 38-match winning run in indoor courts
London: Roger Federer surprised himself by bringing Novak Djokovic’s long winning run to an end at the ATP World Tour Finals.
Roger Federer celebrates winning a point against Novak Djokovic. Pic/Getty Images
The 7-5, 6-2 loss on Tuesday was Djokovic’s first in 24 matches dating back to a loss to Federer in Cincinnati in August while he had not been beaten indoors since 2012, a streak of 38 matches.
Federer, who qualified for the semi-finals, said: “I wouldn’t have picked it maybe before the tournament, just because of his really good record indoors, the year he’s had, especially with the run he’s been on. “I focused more on beating (Tomas) Berdych and (Kei) Nishikori and let’s see what happens against Novak. That shows me that I didn’t expect this victory. But then again, all day I felt good about my chances. It was clear in my head how I wanted to play.
“At the end it was not that surprising because I was playing really well and he dropped his level towards the end.”
Unusual of Federer
It is unusual to hear Federer, one of the most confident sportspeople around, talk about not expecting to win, and he said the round-robin format gave him the freedom to be the underdog.
He said: “This one’s different because I don’t have to win, so why put extra pressure on yourself? It’s not a final.
“I think that’s why I could really have that approach to just say, ‘Let’s see what happens’. Just go out there, try a few things. If you don’t feel like it, you don’t feel like it. If you feel like it, do it.”