Stefanos Tsitsipas had "no idea" how he moved to another level in the second set of a "rollercoaster" clash with Dominic Thiem before going on to win the ATP Finals.

The 21-year-old became the first Greek champion at the season-ending tournament, beating Thiem 6-7 (6-8) 6-2 7-6 (7-4) in a classic showdown at the O2 Arena on Sunday.

Tsitsipas and Thiem put on a thrilling show in London, the aggressive sixth seed putting the disappointment of losing a first-set tie-break behind him by bossing the second set.

Two-time French Open runner-up Thiem came 3-1 down to force another breaker, which Tsitsipas led 4-1 before the fifth seed stormed back again by winning the next three points.

Tsitsipas was not to be denied the biggest title of his fledgling career on his debut at the event, a year after he was crowned Next Gen champion, and he was at a loss to explain how he was able to level the match in such assertive fashion.

"I have no clue how I played so well in the second set," said Tsitsipas, the youngest winner of the tournament since Lleyton Hewitt in 2001.

"I have no idea. I think my mind was at ease and I wasn't really thinking of much, which led to such a great performance in the second set, breaking him twice. It was pretty much an excellent set for me.

"It was pretty frustrating for me to be playing with such nerves [during the final set]] for the first time in such a big event. I was a break up, I couldn't manage to hold it.

"Things were decided in the tie-break and I am so relieved by this outstanding performance and fight that I gave out on the court."

He added: "It's been a rollercoaster. Holding this trophy right now feels amazing."

Stefanos Tsitsipas edged a final-set tie-break in a classic battle with Dominic Thiem to claim the biggest title of his career and become the first Greek ATP Finals champion.

Tsitsipas and Thiem served up a thriller at the O2 Arena on Sunday and it was the 21-year-old tournament debutant who came out on top, prevailing 6-7 (6-8) 6-2 7-6 (7-4).

It took two hours and 35 minutes to settle an epic match that swung one way and the other, Thiem coming from 4-1 down in the decisive tie-break to get back on serve before Tsitsipas became the youngest winner of the competition since Lleyton Hewitt in 2001.

Tsitsipas struck 34 winners to two-time French Open runner-up Thiem's 36 in a pulsating, high-quality final, ending the season on a high note in London.

There was evidence of nerves as both players held to love in their first service games and Thiem thwarted the sixth seed when he faced the first break point in the fourth game.

The two warriors were aggressive from the start, unleashing winner after winner off both wings and charging to the net with authority.

Tsitsipas and Thiem saved two break points apiece before the Austrian came out on top in a tie-break, an errant backhand costing the Athens native.

A sprightly Tsitsipas put that behind him by taking a firm grip of the second set, putting away a brilliant forehand winner after toying with Thiem to go a double break up at 3-0.

Tsitsipas was relentless, serving it out after making only one unforced error in a one-sided second set and Thiem disappeared off court to gather himself for the decider.

The momentum was with Tsitsipas, who showed no let-up as he piled huge pressure on Thiem, who saved two break points in the first game of the final set but was up against it at 2-1 down after drilling a backhand into the net.

Thiem was not done yet, drawing on his fighting spirit and class to get back on serve at 3-3 and it seemed almost inevitable another breaker would be required to split the two.

Tsitsipas stormed into a 4-1 advantage and although Thiem refused to accept defeat as he stormed back to level at 4-4, a couple of stray groundstrokes cost him as he was denied in a titanic tussle between the first-time finalists.

Rafael Nadal would already be established as the greatest men's tennis player in history if injuries had not disrupted his career, according to uncle and former coach Toni Nadal.

The Spaniard has 19 grand slam titles and is one short of matching Roger Federer's record haul, with the Swiss in his sights heading into the 2020 season.

Nadal's princely haul includes an unprecedented 12 French Open crowns, as well as four successes at the US Open, including his 2019 triumph when he toppled Daniil Medvedev in a breathtaking final.

Knee problems in particular, but also a host of further physical issues, have blighted 33-year-old Nadal during his career, and since making his grand slam debut in 2003 he has missed eight majors.

Federer, in stark contrast, has only been forced to miss two by injury - the French Open and US Open in 2016 - although he also elected to skip Roland Garros in 2017 and 2018 in favour of a rest.

And Novak Djokovic, the third member of the men's 'Big Three' with 16 slams, has been absent for just the 2017 US Open since his big-stage debut at the 2005 Australian Open.

"For the moment, the best in history I do not know if is Federer, Rod Laver… it is very difficult to determine who is the best in history," Toni Nadal told Omnisport.

"I do not like excuses and I do not want to make them. If my grandmother had two wheels, it would be a bicycle…

"I believe that if Rafael wouldn't have had so many injuries, probably today he would be the best tennis player in history. He had the injuries and there is nothing more to say.

"Anyway, let's wait until the end, when everybody has finished their careers, we will say who is the best one, but it is always difficult to determine who is the best.

"I do not know which aspects of the games of statistics you take into account, if it is one or another. It won't be much difference, I believe, when Federer, Djokovic and Nadal finish their careers… and Rod Laver, it won't be much difference."

Toni Nadal saluted his nephew for another scintillating season, in which he landed slams in Paris and New York and finished the year as world number one.

It hardly mattered that he fell short at the ATP Finals, edged out in the group stage.

"Back in 2005, it was unthinkable that he would be number one of the world again in 2019," said Toni Nadal.

"I think that Rafael has made efforts all his life to keep being on the top and at the end he has had this reward.

"When things don't go well he has this capacity to continue. But after that, I think that he has a capacity to generate great shots in bad postures, if we talk about technical aspects. On this matter I believe that he is the best in the world. He is a guy that on a position of instability, he can make even better shots."

Asked to similarly pick out the main virtues of Federer and Djokovic, the man popularly known as 'Uncle Toni' added: "Federer: his elegance above all. But elegance based on effectivity, not only elegance and little effectivity. Elegance and great effectivity.

"And from Djokovic, his extraordinary capacity of attack and defence and his mobility: it is easy from him to be in the right place, he is a very complete player. I believe that the three of them have similar capacities."

Stefanos Tsitsipas described himself as "living the dream" after knocking out Roger Federer to book an ATP Finals showpiece against Dominic Thiem.

Greek star Tsitsipas ousted Federer 6-3 6-4 in the semi-final of the season-ending event to reach the biggest final of his career.

Tsitsipas has had an up-and-down year which started with a run to the last four of the Australian Open and was followed by a mid-season slump, but he appears to be keeping his best until last.

The 21-year-old saved 11 of Federer's 12 break points on Saturday and explained beating the 20-time grand slam champion, who he watched winning major tournaments growing up, was difficult to comprehend.

"I grew up watching Roger here at the ATP Finals and Wimbledon and other finals," said Tsitsipas, who also beat Federer in the last 16 of the Australian Open.

"I wished one day I could face him and now I'm here living the dream.

"I remember myself being one of the kids here watching the event and I could never picture myself here. But it can happen.

"This victory is probably one of my best moments of the season. These are the moments I live for.

"This does feel, in a way, like a grand slam, because all eyes are here. Everyone knows this event. Everyone who watches tennis knows what the ATP Finals are.

"For me, it's a great new start, great new beginning to be here, playing in the Finals. It's really very difficult to be in that position I am in right now and it counts a lot."

Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the prime minister of Greece, was in attendance for the match and greeted Tsitsipas afterwards, highlighting the magnitude of his triumph.

"I'm really glad I played well, stayed calm," Tsitsipas said.

"It's a great moment not just for me, for everyone else, my country, my team. I'm proud of myself, how hard I fought, how concentrated I stayed in the break points. 

"I didn't crack under pressure. I was very composed and very mature in my decisions."

Tsitsipas and Thiem have met on six occasions over the last two years.

Thiem won four of those, including the most recent clash last month, which was a three-set battle in the China Open final.

Roger Federer conceded he had let chances slip through his fingers and made "pretty bad" mistakes as he crashed out of the ATP Finals with defeat to Stefanos Tsitsipas.

The Swiss star went down 6-3 6-4 in London, taking only one of his 12 break-point opportunities to lose the semi-final in straight sets just two days on from a near-faultless victory over Novak Djokovic.

It means he ends the year having not won any of the four grand slams or the season-ending event, with Sunday's final to be contested by Dominic Thiem and Tsitsipas.

Federer turns 39 in 2020 but, as he reflected on a year that saw him squander two championship points against Djokovic in the Wimbledon final, he is optimistic he will have plenty more opportunities to win top tournaments.

"No doubt I had my chances," Federer – who hit 26 unforced errors including two wayward smashes in his opening service game – said after his defeat, which leaves him without an ATP Finals title since 2011. 

"The break points were part of it. I had some good spells, but the spells where things were not working well, they were pretty bad.

"Getting broken and missing two smashes in one game – that hasn't happened in a long, long time or ever, so that was tough.

"At this level, you just can't have it happen, so that was pretty disappointing."

Of his 2020 hopes, Federer said: "I've got to keep on playing at the level like I have this year and then I will create some chances. 

"[I have] Got to take care of my body, listen to the signs, work well with the team and get the balance right with everything that's happening in my life."

Federer had produced a fine display to see off Djokovic in the round-robin stage but conceded he cannot afford to let his level drop when big matches and important moments arrive in quick succession.

He added: "When the matches come, it's not maybe as easy as it was maybe 10, 15 years ago, where you're just going to play very good day in, day out. 

"Maybe you need to do extra effort sometimes for that to happen. Maybe that's what it felt like, just things were complicated. 

"But I've got to maybe do even a better job at figuring these moments out, because the opportunities were there. They were there in other moments as well this season, maybe Indian Wells [in a final defeat to Thiem] or Wimbledon.

"That can change an entire season around, the confidence, the flow of things."

Federer retained an optimistic outlook going into another season on the ATP Tour, adding: "I'm happy [with] how I played this season. I thought I played some consistent, solid tennis and I'm extremely excited for next season."

Dominic Thiem will face Stefanos Tsitsipas for the ATP Finals title after dethroning Alexander Zverev in straight sets.

Thiem beat Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic to reach the last four of the season-ending tournament for the first time and dispatched Zverev 7-5 6-3 at the O2 Arena in London on Saturday.

Zverev was unable to break the fifth seed, who was more composed than the defending champion and broke once in each set to set up a showdown with Tsitsipas - conqueror of Federer earlier in the day.

Thiem has won five titles in a stellar season and the two-time French Open runner-up will claim the biggest of his career if he gets the better of Tsitsipas on Sunday, having struck 21 winners in his sixth victory in eight meetings with Zverev.

The first break point came for Zverev, but Thiem denied his close friend to level at 2-2 after unleashing one of a number of blistering backhands.

Zverev saw another break point pass him by and it was his opponent - wearing exactly the same attire - who got the decisive break of a tight opening set. 

A couple of sloppy errors from Zverev gave Thiem two set points and the German thrashed his racket into the ground after returning to his chair following a costly double fault.

Zverev headed off court after watching his racket fly up in the air when he drilled it against the hard court in fury and the seventh seed was a break down at 4-2 in the second following a string of unforced errors.

Thiem got himself out of trouble when Zverev forced two break points in the next game and sealed victory with a forehand winner.

Tomas Berdych has confirmed his retirement at the age of 34.

The former world number four was expected to quit after posting a video on Twitter stating he had an announcement to make at the ATP Finals in London on Saturday.

Berdych's post came after a Czech tabloid Blesk reported on Wednesday that he will officially bring the curtain down on his career this weekend.

The 2010 Wimbledon runner-up, beaten by Rafael Nadal in his only grand slam final, has now brought his playing days to an end after 17 years on the ATP Tour.

Berdych has not played since losing to Jenson Brooksby in the first round of the US Open, having been blighted by a back injury.

The 13-time ATP Tour singles champion missed the last five months of the 2018 season and was only able to play 22 matches this year.

Berdych's career was recognised during a ceremony at the O2 Arena on Saturday, where he said: "The feeling I went through in my last official match was one that told me I tried absolutely everything, but the end result is how it is.

"The level I was always chasing, the top results, being in the top positions [of the ATP Rankings]… My body doesn't allow me to do so.

"I always look at situations very realistically. I was standing with my feet on my ground. When I made my decision with myself and [loved ones], I felt a big relief."

 

Stefanos Tsitsipas described playing Roger Federer as the "biggest honour" after he overcame the 20-time grand slam champion in the ATP Finals.

Tsitsipas - debuting at the season-ending tournament - set up a final against either Dominic Thiem or defending champion Alexander Zverev with a 6-3 6-4 win on Saturday.

While Federer was wasteful, failing to take 11 out of 12 break points afforded to him by the Greek, Tsitsipas showed clinical composure to progress to his sixth final of 2019.

Saturday's triumph marks a second win over Federer for Tsitsipas, who also beat the world number three in the Australian Open, and the 21-year-old insisted there is no higher honour in men's tennis than going up against the Swiss.

"I am so proud of myself today, a great performance and once again the fans were great. I really enjoyed my time on the court," Tsitsipas said.

"Sometimes, matches like this you wonder how you overcome all these difficulties, those break points down. It's really like a mental struggle so I'm really proud that I managed to save so many break points today.

"Roger was playing good, shout out to him as well because he's played pretty well this week, an inspiration as always.

"Playing him is the biggest honour I can have, today's win is probably one of the best matches of this season and these are the moments I wait for and want to prove the best of my game."

"It's not easy to copy Roger. This guy does magic on the court so I'm trying to do half of what he does. He can be so good sometimes. We all have different styles.

"There is so much to learn from all these players. I grew up watching Roger as a kid, watching him here at the finals, Wimbledon, plenty of finals. I wished I could step out on the court one day and face him and today I'm here, living the dream.

"I remember being a kid here, watching the event, I could never picture myself standing here, but it happened, dreams do come true."

Tsitsipas has been in brilliant form at the O2 arena, and will now face Thiem or Zverev - who he beat in the round-robin stage - in Sunday's showdown.

"I have no preference [Thiem or Zverev]. Anything can happen in the final," he added.

"I played Zverev already in the group and last year he proved, when he lost to [Novak] Djokovic in the group and then went out in the final and beat him. Now I need to be super careful. Let's hope for a good semi-final, I'm going to watch it."

ATP Finals debutant Stefanos Tsitsipas booked his place in Sunday's final with a clinical 6-3 6-4 triumph over a wasteful Roger Federer at the O2 Arena.

Tsitsipas was beaten by world number one Rafael Nadal in a marathon match on Friday but showed little sign of weariness as he claimed his second win over six-time ATP Finals champion Federer.

The 21-year-old saved 12 break points in his Australia Open victory over Federer in January and the world number three failed to take 11 out of 12 this time around.

Tsitsipas made Federer pay, progressing into his sixth final of what has been a fantastic season, with Dominic Thiem or defending champion Alexander Zverev awaiting.

Having held serve in game one, Tsitsipas broke at the first time of asking with a well-worked point to take control of the set.

Tsitsipas saved three break points in game seven, though Federer subsequently held to love before winning a brilliant point at the culmination of a thrilling rally.

Three set points went begging for Tsitsipas as Federer teed up a sixth opportunity to break, only for a long backhand to hand his opponent a reprieve.

An incredible game rolled on, but at the seventh time of asking, Tsitsipas finally wrapped up a 47-minute first set.

Federer started set two with a crisp hold, yet the Swiss found himself a set and a break down when he sent a weak effort into the net as Tsitsipas broke to love.

But Federer responded brilliantly, taking a 40-love lead on Tsitsipas' serve, only to once again squander three more break points.

A sublime backhand and exquisite drop shot set up Federer's 10th break point, however, and this time he took advantage to draw level at 2-2.

Tsitsipas broke back immediately though and two overhit efforts put Federer two games down.

Another strong hold of serve put Tsitsipas on the brink, and - despite some nervy shots on his last service game - a thumping ace secured a deserved victory.

Rafael Nadal believes he will eventually look back fondly on matching Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic for equal second most year-end number one rankings.

Federer's win over Djokovic at the ATP Finals on Thursday ensured Nadal would end the year as world number one for the fifth time in his career.

The three greats are alongside Jimmy Connors on that tally, while only Pete Sampras (six) has achieved it more often.

Nadal, 33, said it was an achievement he would eventually be proud of.

"At some point for me, it's something that gives me great personal satisfaction," the 19-time grand slam champion told a news conference.

"To have the chance to equal both of them [Federer and Djokovic] after missing a couple of years for injuries means a lot.

"I remember 2012 for example, I had been playing great and I had been in a position that I think I was playing great, after winning Roland Garros I had to stop for eight months for my knee. Then in 2009 something similar happened.

"So, a couple of years I had been there but because of physical issues I was not able to fight for it. To have this trophy with me means a lot and of course it's a great achievement."

Nadal edged Stefanos Tsitsipas at the ATP Finals on Friday, but the Spanish great was eliminated after Alexander Zverev's win over Daniil Medvedev later in the day.

Winner of the French Open and US Open this year, Nadal said being number one at year's end had not been a target.

"Number one was not the main goal for me. I will not follow the number one, I was going to do my normal calendar because you have to make decisions to try to play as long as possible in order to fight for the number one," he said.

"Our decision is to try to do things to play as long as possible so that's why I tried to do the conservative calendar in terms of saving the body.

"But the thing is when I've been playing, I've been playing very well. I achieved almost every single time the last rounds of every tournament. That's why it's put me in a position that I am where I am today, having this trophy with me.

"Of course, after winning the US Open I put myself in a position that it can be a chance to be there, but of course having the rivals I have in front, anything is possible."

Alexander Zverev defeated Daniil Medvedev in straight sets to progress at the ATP Finals and end Rafael Nadal's hopes of glory in London.

The reigning champion prevailed 6-4 7-6 (7-4) to set up a semi-final showdown with Dominic Thiem, while the other last-four clash will see Stefanos Tsitsipas face Roger Federer.

Nadal briefly kept alive his qualification hopes in Friday's first match at the O2, valiantly battling back from a set down to beat the already qualified Tsitsipas.

However, the world number one, who is certain to finish the year on top of the rankings, failed to get the favour he needed from Medvedev, the Russian subsiding to a third straight loss at this year's season-ending tournament.

The final contest in the round-robin stage was an exhibition of serving. Zverev claimed the only break in the opening game, an advantage he retained throughout a 34-minute first set to move ahead.

They continued to set a frantic pace in the second set - the opening four games spanned just 11 minutes - but too many errors, particularly on his forehand side, prevented Medvedev from putting his rival under pressure.

He managed to save a break point in the ninth game courtesy of a booming first serve, though a double fault at a crucial moment in the tie-break gave his opponent a 5-3 lead.

Zverev sealed the win in style with an ace, the German prevailing after one hour and 18 minutes on court.

"Probably this arena at the O2 is the most special to me - it's where I play my best tennis," he told the crowd during an on-court interview.

"The atmosphere here is something that we don’t play in at all, anywhere else in the world. This is so special to us."

Rafael Nadal produced a magnificent comeback to keep his ATP Finals hopes alive with a three-set victory over Stefanos Tsitsipas at the O2 Arena.

Nadal went into Friday's contest knowing he had to win to have a chance of progressing to the last four of the season-ending showpiece.

His prospects of achieving that feat looked slim when the in-form Tsitsipas - who won his first two matches in straight sets - took the opener in a tie-break.

However, Nadal, who fought back from 5-1 down in the third set to see off Daniil Medvedev on Wednesday, again demonstrated his incredible powers of recovery in an absorbing encounter.

Devastating off both wings and supreme at the net, Nadal clinched a 6-7 (4-7) 6-4 7-5 triumph in two hours and 52 minutes.

For the Spaniard to join Tsitsipas in progressing from Group Andre Agassi, he will need Medvedev to beat Alexander Zverev. Should the Russian do him that favour, Nadal will face Roger Federer in the semi-finals.

Neither player faced a break point in a high-quality first set, but it was Nadal whose defences were breached in the tie-break.

The world number one went long after an accurate forehand down the line from Tsitsipas, who wisely challenged mid-point to bring up a pair of set points. 

Tsitsipas sent down five aces in the opener and he took his first set point in that fashion, Nadal having no answer for a serve down the T.

A sensational forehand return helped Nadal bring up the first break points of the match in the fifth game of the second, but Tsitsipas saved both and an emphatic forehand volley saw him hold.

With the help of a spectacular passing shot, Nadal went 30-0 up on Tsitsipas' next service game, only for the world number six to again fight his way out of trouble behind some hugely impressive serving.

However, the pressure finally told in the ninth game as, after a rasping overhead from Nadal, Tsitsipas skewed a simple forehand wide to surrender the first break of an engrossing contest.

Nadal's fists were pumping when Tsitsipas sent a return long to set up a deciding set and he maintained his intensity in a fascinating third.

A brutal cross-court backhand return gave Nadal his third break point of the set at 3-3 but an admirably dogged Tsitsipas held firm once more.

The reward finally came for the relentless Nadal as he produced an incredible stretching forehand that forced Tsitsipas into an awkward volley he could only send wide, and the reigning French Open and US Open champion made no mistake in holding to wrap up a superb victory.

Novak Djokovic hopes to play at the Davis Cup Finals despite admitting he felt a "pretty sharp" pain in his elbow against Roger Federer on Thursday.

Djokovic failed to reach the last four at the ATP Finals after suffering a 6-4 6-3 defeat to Federer in London.

The Serbian 16-time grand slam champion was again troubled by his elbow, a worry ahead of the Davis Cup Finals beginning in Madrid on Monday.

"I hope it's nothing that will really unable me to play Madrid. The pain was pretty sharp, but I could play the rest of the match," Djokovic told a news conference.

"If I had something really serious I think I wouldn't be able to hold the racquet so it wasn't, it was probably just an awkward, quick movement that I did, but it did not impose any form of issues later on."

Djokovic suffered his first loss to Federer since 2015, the result handing Rafael Nadal the year-end number one ranking.

The 32-year-old said he was well below his best, while praising Federer's performance.

"There was not much that I did right this match to be honest, realistically he was the better player in all aspects and absolutely deserved to win," Djokovic said.

"He served great, moved well and returned my serve very well so from his end I think he did everything right, from my end I was just playing too neutral.

"I couldn't read his serve well and just a pretty bad match from my side."

Despite not living up to his usual standards to finish the year, Djokovic was happy with his 2019 after successes at the Australian Open and Wimbledon.

"I'm not happy with the way I finished the season. Obviously this is not the way I want to play on the court first of all but you've got to accept that you have these kinds of days and move on," he said.

"If I have to draw the line, I think it was still a very good season winning two slams and five titles.

"Of course I'm still hot-headed off the court but all in all it was a good season."

Serbia are in Group A at the Davis Cup Finals, alongside France and Japan.

Rafael Nadal matched Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic by securing a fifth year-end number one, while also breaking a record set by the Serbian.

Federer was too good for Djokovic 6-4 6-3 at the ATP Finals on Thursday, reaching the semi-finals at the expense of the 16-time grand slam champion.

The result confirmed Nadal will finish the year at the top of the rankings for the fifth time.

The Spanish star joined Federer, Djokovic and Jimmy Connors on that tally, trailing only Pete Sampras (six).

It also marked the 16th straight year in which one of the 'Big Four' – Federer (2004-07 and 2009), Nadal (2008, 2010, 2013, 2017 and 2019), Djokovic (2011-12, 2014-15 and 2018) and Andy Murray (2016) – has finished as world number one.

At 33, Nadal is the oldest year-end number one in ATP rankings history. Djokovic, 31 last year, held that mark previously.

Federer (20) still leads his rivals for most grand slams, although Nadal (19) and Djokovic (16) closed the gap this year.

Roger Federer described his ATP Finals victory over Novak Djokovic as "magical", having come up short when they last met in an epic Wimbledon final.

Swiss icon Federer earned a brilliant 6-4 6-3 victory at the O2 Arena in London on Thursday to join Dominic Thiem in advancing to the semi-finals at the Serbian's expense.

It was the 19-time grand slam champion's first win against Djokovic – whose defeat meant Rafael Nadal will end 2019 as the world number one – since 2015, with the 32-year-old having been triumphant in each of their previous five encounters.

The most recent of those saw Djokovic stave off a championship point before clinching the Wimbledon title following a tie-break at 12-12 in the fifth set.

Asked what he did differently on Thursday, Federer replied: "I won match point, I guess! It was so close at Wimbledon. It was a privilege to play that match, so many ups and downs.

"I thought I played an incredible tournament … and it's just a point or a shot here and there that made the difference and he got it.

"You move on, try harder next time and hopefully luck goes on your side. I stayed calm, I played great until the very end and I couldn't be more happy right now.

"[It was a] great atmosphere, great opponent. It was definitely incredibly special. I enjoyed it from the beginning.

"I played incredible and I knew I had to because that's what Novak does. I was able to produce. It was definitely magical. You guys [the fans] made it super special, I can't thank you enough."

Federer bounced back from losing his opening round-robin match to Thiem by beating Matteo Berrettini in straight sets and the 38-year-old stepped up his game again to overcome Djokovic.

"You always play better as the tournament goes on, that's why I think we played as well as we did at Wimbledon as well," said Federer, who suffered a semi-final defeat to Alexander Zverev in last year's ATP Finals.

"Dominic Thiem has been supreme in our group, made life difficult for both of us and put us in the situation that only the winner goes through.

"There was a lot riding on the match and I came out and I think I served great, had great anticipation, a clear game-plan and it worked great – hopefully not for the last time against Novak.

"I'm happy to stick around. Hopefully I'll go a step further than last year, I played a good match against Zverev last year but he was unreal."

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