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ATP Finals: Federer leaving Wimbledon final in the past ahead of Djokovic rematch - 'I think it's all flushed away from my side'

Andrew Hendrie in ATP Tour 13 Nov 2019
  • Federer tasked with must-win match against Djokovic to reach ATP Finals semi-finals
  • Swiss says he's pushed his heartbreaking Wimbledon final loss out of his mind
  • Federer hasn't beaten Djokovic since the 2015 ATP Finals
Roger Federer (PA Images)

Roger Federer says his agonising Wimbledon final defeat to Novak Djokovic couldn’t be further from his mind as the pair prepare to face off for a winner-takes-all showdown at the ATP Finals on Thursday night.

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Federer and Djokovic will square off for the 49th time in London, with the winner to advance to the semi-finals.

Only once in 16 previous appearances at the ATP Finals has Federer failed to make it out of the round robin phase, with the Swiss losing to Andy Murray and Gilles Simon in the group stage of the 2008 tournament when it was still called the Tennis Masters Cup and played in Shanghai.

Federer and Djokovic were believed to be the beneficiaries of a good draw when the groups were announced last week, but Dominic Thiem has thrown a spanner in the works, beating both of the legends in extraordinary performances, meaning one of them will be heading home on Thursday night.

Roger Federer (PA Images)
Djokovic leads their head-to-head 26-22, winning eight of their last 10 matches, including the last five and July’s classic Wimbledon final, where Federer couldn’t convert two championship points and ultimately lost 13-12 in a fifth-set tiebreaker.

It was a crushing defeat for Federer, who would have moved to 21 major titles, but after Rafael Nadal’s triumph at the U.S. Open, he’s now only one slam in front of the Spaniard, with Djokovic four behind on 16.


Despite the heartbreaking loss, Federer says he’s relishing the chance to play Djokovic again and won’t be thinking of Wimbledon heading into Thursday night’s contest.

"I think it's all flushed away from my side. A lot of water has gone under the bridge since then," Federer said. 
"I wasn't hoping [for] him not to be in my section or in my draw. I didn't hope I was never going to play him again. Actually, it's good for me to play him again, and maybe that all helps to get a chance to get him back or whatever it is. But at the end of the day, I'm here for the [Nitto ATP] Finals and not because of the Wimbledon finals."

Federer can take solace in the fact his last win over Djokovic came on this very court in 2015 during the group stage.

However, Djokovic didn’t have to wait long for his revenge, beating the Swiss in straight sets in the final of the same tournament - and Federer hasn’t been able to come out triumphant against the Serbian since.

Federer skipped the Paris Masters after winning a record Swiss Indoors in Basel, and his lack of recent and relative match-play was evident in his loss against Thiem, but he produced a much more polished display to beat Matteo Berrettini in straight sets on Tuesday.

"I'm excited playing against him [Djokovic],” Federer added. "I think I need to focus on my game, what I do best. And regardless of what I need to do, I just hope I play well."


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ATP Finals: Federer leaving Wimbledon final in the past ahead of Djokovic rematch - "I think it's all flushed away from my side"

Roger Federer says his agonising Wimbledon final defeat to Novak Djokovic couldn’t be further from his mind as the pair prepare to face off for a winner-takes-all showdown at the ATP Finals on Thursday night.

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