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18:00 – Djokovic v Federer
I don’t think anyone would argue that this is the right final. In the Round Robin matches they were by far the strongest contenders. They were put under more pressure once we reached the semi finals though. Nishikori looked like he was going to be blown away when Djokovic took their opening set 6-1 but the Japanese player fought back to take the second set. Normal service was resumed in the third though with Djokovic taking it 6-0.
Federer also didn’t face any real resistance until he played Wawrinka in the semi finals. Wawrinka took the first set and looked like he might be able to finish the job in straight sets. Federer put him under pressure but couldn’t get the breakthrough until very late in the set to take it into a deciding set. Federer was broken in the first game and Wawrinka was almost broken when serving at 4-3 but managed to hold. However when he served for the match at 5-4 Federer did get the break and they eventually made it to the tie break. Wawrinka had a match point on Federer’s serve which was saved. A point later it was Federer’s turn to have match point and even though it was on Wawrinka’s serve he took it.
Head to heads are 19-18 to Federer. In 2014 Federer leads 3-2 and also 2-1 on hard courts.
Djokovic starts at 1.32 but in their last 10 matches going back to Wimbledon 2012 he has only had one straight sets win over Federer. That was in the final of this tournament in 2012 and Djokovic won 7-6, 7-5.
We have seen in the semi finals that they are both vulnerable even though both have played superb tennis throughout the week. This should be a great match and I am going with Djokovic to retain his title but I expect Federer to take him to a third set. I feel Djokovic has the extra gear or two for when he is put under pressure and will prove to be too strong.