Roger Federer delivered a stunning performance to blow away Novak Djokovic and qualify for the last four of the ATP Finals.
The 38-year-old broke early in the first set as his ultra-aggressive approach took Djokovic by surprise and he wrapped up the first set inside 35 minutes.
The six-time ATP Finals champion took charge of the second set in the fifth game when he broke the Serbian again.
The world number two struggled to find an answer to Federer’s power and the Swiss legend sealed a 6-4, 6-4 victory inside an hour and 20 minutes at the O2 Arena to beat him for the first time after that historic Wimbledon final.
After Dominic Thiem had qualified for the semi-finals, it was all on the line between the two tennis heavyweights to join the Austrian in the last four. For Djokovic, he needed to progress to stay in with a chance of ending the year as world number one.
For Federer, he was out for revenge. But it was clear from the early stages that Federer was the man in form.
With huge backing from the crowd, the six-time winner came storming out of the blocks, finding an early opportunity to break but Djokovic held on…just or the superior Federer to get his chance in the sixth game and from there he never looked like relinquishing his advantage.
The Swiss is a fine server but this was something else. Against the world’s best returner, he had won 17 out of 20 points on his serve and powered home seven aces. In this form, there was nothing Djokovic could do but admire what his opponent was doing.
Djokovic began to dig deep for a response, but it wasn’t enough and when Federer broke in the fifth, there was no way back.
The Swiss continued his dominance on serve and when he went 5-3 up, Djokovic had the demeanour of a man defeated. Indeed, Federer had three break points – and therefore three match points – and the crowd cheered in delight as the 32-year-old’s slice clipped the net.
Federer was through and Djokovic was out, something very few thought would happen just a week ago.