November 15, 2019
Roger Federer has been denied a showdown with Rafael Nadal on Saturday afternoon.
Alexander Zverev beat Daniil Medvedev 6-4, 7-6 (7-4) – so Nadal’s ATP Finals are over.
The Spaniard’s disappointment comes only hours after he was presented with the trophy for finishing the year as world number one.
Stefanos Tsitsipas will now be Roger’s opponent on Saturday afternoon.
In the evening Zverev will contest the other semi-final with Dominic Thiem.
Reigning champion Zverev said: ‘I’m in the semis now and the atmosphere is special. I’ve still got to improve. Playing against my friend (Thiem) means we have both done incredibly well all year so it’s not difficult at all.’
Nadal was edged out of the last four despite beating Tsitsipas earlier on Friday.
And Novak Djokovic was eliminated when he lost to Roger Federer on Thursday night.
So there is no place in the semi-finals for the players who came to London still battling for top spot in the rankings.
A great competitor like Roger Federer probably wanted to test himself against the warrior-like Nadal once more.
The pair have been arch-rivals for so long. Future meetings could be few and far between.
But of course, we hope Wimbledon 2020 will give Roger and Rafa a chance for one last showdown.
For now, at least Federer has the chance to impose himself against the less experienced Tsitsipas.
Roger may even fancy his chances of taking the title.
Medvedev was broken early in the first set and didn’t look too desperate to redress the balance.
The Russian had already been knocked out. So handing a semi-final place to Nadal – the man who had beaten him the previous night and in the US Open final – didn’t look too high on his list of priorities.
Medvedev misjudged a couple of line calls during the breaker and then came up with a double fault. The mistakes cost him dearly.
Zverev finished it with an ace.
Earlier Nadal had told the crowd he hoped to play Roger. But he warned it was out of his hands.
So it proved. But Rafa will leave London with even more fans than he had before.
His two great comeback wins entertained the English crowds massively.
But Federer is the last of the Big Three still standing. And at the age of 38, that is an incredible achievement.