Serbian tennis maestro Novak Djokovic and 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer, two of tennis' all-time greats, will reignite their rivalry when they take on each other in a Group Bjorn Borg match of the Association for Tennis Professionals (ATP) Finals at the O2 Arena in London on Friday.
Federer surrendered two championship points before falling to Djokovic in a thrilling five-set Wimbledon final in July, but he looked unbeatable as he clinched a first victory over the 16-time major victor since 2015. So from my standpoint, I also didn't know I hadn't beaten him in a few years, actually. But I could play the rest of the match, so, if I had something really serious, I think I wouldn't be able to hold the racket.
Muster, who claimed the world's top ranking in 1996 after winning the French Open the previous year, was chosen as captain by world No. 5 Dominic Thiem and welcomed the opportunity to lock horns with his former adversaries. Yet what seemed abundantly clear regardless of the injury worry, was that Djokovic was unable to impose himself against Federer in the way he is accustomed to doing.
"I was excited we got drawn to play there and have a couple of tough matches", the Scot and world No. 125 said.
"Tim hasn't had too much involvement in the performance side of British tennis since he stopped playing and I think it would be great for all of the players to have him come in and be involved", he told BBC Sport.
"So it was definitely magical". Federer broke him at love following a volley error from Djokovic, celebrating an impressive victory and advancing into the semi-final where he could face Rafael Nadal.
Djokovic repelled two break points in the first game of the second set and created that only chance on the return at 2-1, denied by a victor at the net from Federer who broke at 15 in the next game for a huge step towards the finish line. Even allowing for his tight three set loss to Dominic Thiem, Djokovic looked as though he had the tenacity to go on forever, but earlier in the day had looked as though he was struggling with his elbow in practice.
"He was the better player in all aspects and absolutely deserved to win", said Djokovic.
"I played incredible, and I knew I had to", Federer said. "I couldn't be extra happy right now". I knew as soon as I explained myself after the well-known spherical in opposition to Thiem, first rounds are by no manner easy. "It was probably just an awkward, quick movement that I did, it did not pose any form of issues later on". You've got to accept that you have these kind of days and move on.