* Djokovic 4-6 2-1 Federer Just when it looks like Djokovic is fighting an easy game, Federer backhands 40-30. But Djokovic stands firm to earn the next point; he'll know he's stuck there now, especially with his elbow situation – he's giving him a feeling – but if he can keep his serve, he'll like a spot here or there when he needs it most.
Djokovic 4-6 1-1 Federer * We see a map of Federer's loot and it's ridiculous, a lot of them on the lines. Meanwhile, after a killer forehand gives him 15-0, Djokovic squeezes his elbow, but gets help from … you're sitting … a double foul from Federer! I know! But he responds with a lovely wrong-footed forehand, backhand corner block … but they end in a draw. What is the price of the previous game now! Er, 0p. Federer closes quickly.
* Djokovic 4-6 1-0 Federer Djokovic just couldn't go on that first set. Federer put him down from the start and played beautifully all the time, but it's the quality of the serve that must have been most disheartening to his opponent. And here we go again, Federer making a second serve at 15-0 before winning 15-30 … and a forehand in the shoelaces forces Djokovic to score! Two breakpoints, and can that be? Federer's savage forehand saves the first and then an undefined approach allows Djokovic to enter the court. But advantageously, Djokovic makes another unusual mistake before pausing for a clown wearing a bobble hat indoors to store his camera. Djokovic clears everything up later, and I wonder if we'll look back as the key to the game.
Roger Federer takes the first set, 6-4!
Djokovic 4-6 Federer * Here we go. A service winner awards Federer 15-0 and a counterattack confirms Federer's position as the leading geometrist of the time. Another expanding service follows – this is poetry – and an ace terminates it. CAN'T SERVE BETTER THAN THIS AGAINST THE BIGGEST RETURNER OF THE GAME!
* Djokovic 4-5 Federer Federer is a joke. A big forehand takes him from 0 to 15 and then a Djokovic savage puts him two points off the set; he is watching, and even if Djokovic takes him back, he will know that a break is not on the agenda the way the two are playing. He pulls him back – Federer throws a badly advised fall, not for the first time, a tactic he must abandon because Djokovic is doing well on the net – and two points later, the game is over. After a quick relaxation, Federer will serve for this first set.
Djokovic 3-5 Federer * Djokovic hasn't done anything in Federer's serve yet, and he can't do anything here either, an ace in the middle doing 40-0. This is really brilliant for yerman, another second perlante, out again, too good for yerotherman, who will now serve to stay on set.
* Djokovic 3-4 Federer A good comeback from Federer gives him 30 to 15 and then another forehand, somehow at the end of the line, but right in the middle of the block, smells like him. He comes after a second serve – Djokovic has been very good in this department lately, but it's not working for him tonight – but a pass establishes the point of play and a big first wins him.
Djokovic 2-4 Federer * Federer reaches 30-0, making 12 of the first 13 serves, and an ace makes 40-0. It is not bad. And take a look! A second Edberg serve, kicking into the side for an ace! I say!
* Djokovic 2-3 Federer Djokovic needed this. He ends up with 30, but this was a much more authoritative game for him and ended with him having the best of a confrontation on the net.
Djokovic 1-3 Federer * I feel like we've seen it before: Federer starts well, but can't keep up, especially with Djokovic wearing it out. And here we go, Djokovic, crashing a winning forehand court to open the game. Then at age 15, he drops a drop to peek at a winner on the cross court, but Federer doesn't have it and solves the game from there.
* Djokovic 1-2 Federer Djokovic starts with a double, then sends another fault immediately after … and another! That second, in the middle, forgotten by an aeon! Federer then takes a chance with a backhand slice, which he folds with a forehand on the line! The best rally of the match follows, Djokovic dictating, but Federer finds a backhand on the line! These two are so good, and seeing them play is ridiculously exciting.
Djokovic 1-1 Federer * This was a decent start for Federer; or, alternatively, that was his chance and he lost. We'll see. We begin to see. Federer runs into the game at 15, and that was a statement.
* Djokovic 1-0 Federer Djokovic is for Federer's forehand, and the return – really free – is broad. However, we have reached a rally and it is until Djokovic passes the backhand court – its consistency is something else. But he then enters and is not final enough with his volley before he turns 40 to 15 and serves a double; now then. Federer enters himself and Djokovic can't pass, after which Djokovic has long been with a clumsy forehand outside the baseline; Deuce But from there it quickly serves.
"There have been 66 undergraduate courses since and including Wimbledon 2003," tweets Brand King. Of these 66, Fed, Rafa and Novak are responsible for 55 titles, with just seven other players. There are 8448 entries in the main draw and only ten different champions. The elite breathes thin air.
I don't know if the sport saw anything like that, no matter what tennis.
Harry Kane put England 2-0. They need a point to seal Euro qualification.
O2 is terrible for music – Leonard Cohen aside – but it's absolutely great for tennis. And actually, it's especially good at nosebleeds, where you have a much better idea of how hard the players hit the ball and when they actually open their shoulders to put in a little more.
Goran Ivanisevic says Djokovic is feeling well, and that Federer will be thinking about the matchpoints he missed. Djokovic needs to be more aggressive than against Thiem. He said the court is fast and asked who is in favor – Federer, basically – but he says it's the court, the balls are flying and are difficult to control.
Elsewhere, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has put England ahead against Montenegro. You can follow this up with Paul Doyle.
Djokovic needs to win here to finish the year as world number 1. I'm sure he likes it, but I'd be surprised if he took such intense nerves that it made his presentation difficult tonight.
In the box, they can't find a way to Federer. I wouldn't go that far – if he can work his approaches, get on the net and put Djokovic down, he has a chance. But that is her size.
Rusedski points out that Thiem hit 51 winners to beat Djokovic, also known as the Stan method. I think it tells us that he still doesn't think he can beat Djokovic, so he broke it and hit the seam. It is difficult to achieve this more than once in a year, no matter more than once in a tournament. I think I just convinced Djokovic to lift the trophy on Sunday.
Smash: Tim informed us that the winner is in the semifinals and the loser is going home. More news as I get it.
Obviously, it's Henman, Rusedski and Croft in the studio. What an imagination!
Marat Safin is on television. I was told he was as brilliant as playing tennis, which is why he "just" won a great title.
Even thinking about it put me in a pretty old spin. How can we understand the world?
In this topic, Tumaini Carayol, now this
parish, has some thoughts on the subject.
I know the comparison is the death of beauty and all, but how do we classify them? I would prefer Federer first, but is that an aesthetic appeal? Did Nadal have his number when they were both at their best? Is Djokovic less beaten when facing another top player playing well?
I say all this, but really, what am I talking about? Anyone who can conceive anything without Federer, Nadal and Djokovic is fabulous.
Ooonnnnn on the other hand, Thiem was defeated by Berretini, Zverev lost to Tsitsipas and Nadal eventually beat Medvedev. But it is a start, because the problem is not yet consistency, it is skill: they have to beat the best before repeatedly beating the best. Of course none of this will really mean anything until someone wins a Slam – now that you ask, I think Medvedev and Tsitsipas will, Thiem will do it in Paris if Nadal gives up while he's still in good shape and Zverev won't do it. because your volleyball and reliability will never get there. I could be wrong.
Good! Is the playing field finally level? The two meet tonight, both losing to Dominic Thiem, while Rafael Nadal was defeated by Alex Zverev and only stolen by Daniil Medvedev. It took years and skipped a generation – we saw the false dawn of their Griggsys, Nickys, Miloses and the rest – but finally, at 127, 109 and 106, respectively, the big three are losing big matches to the kids. How tennis deals with this, I have no idea – for a decade, it was the best sport in the world in terms of how good its best was, and it's inconceivable that they are anywhere near them – but we're good for a change, and it looks like we're getting one.
Those who win tonight will join Thiem and Stefanos Tsitsipas in the semi-finals, with Zverev and Medvedev fighting for the final sport tomorrow. I would be angry about it if I wasn't buzzing about it – we don't know how much more of these boys we have, so it's our duty as human beings to penetrate them while we can. Yalla yalla!
Play: 20:00 GMT.