London: Roger Federer began 2010 in devastating fashion and is ending it in unstoppable fashion too, according to Novak Djokovic who was thrashed by the Swiss in the semi-fnals of the ATP World Tour Finals on Saturday.
The Swiss made light work of world number three Djokovic with 31 winners during a 6-1 6-4 victory that set up a dream final against Rafael Nadal, with both players gunning for the USD 1.6 million jackpot for an undefeated champion.
Federer did not drop a set in his round-robin victories over world number seven David Ferrer, number five Andy Murray and number four Robin Soderling but he went up another level against the unfortunate Djokovic.
“Every ball kind of listens to him,” Serbia’s Djokovic, who can now concentrate on next week’s Davis Cup final against France, told reporters. “I think he was playing unbelievable from the first moment.
“He was playing smart. He was coming in. He didn’t give me any time to try to get into the match. In just half an hour, it was already 6-1.”
The 29-year-old Federer, bidding for a record-equalling fifth title at the year-ending showpiece, produced a Saturday night feast for the 17,500-capacity crowd at London’s O2 Arena.
Djokovic was troubled by his contact lenses during a group phase defeat by Nadal, complaining after that it was impossible to play the Spaniard with one eye.
He would have needed eyes in the back of his head to keep track of the winners that flew off Federer’s racket.
The writing was on the wall for Djokovic when he dropped his first service game and he never really recovered despite a brief fightback against the Swiss who won this year’s Australian Open but who has since been overshadowed by Nadal.
Federer trailed 0-3 in the second set but that just provided a platform for the 16-times grand slam champion to unleash his full arsenal as he won six of the next seven games with a series of irresistible winners.
He sealed victory with another graceful swish of his right arm to send a service winner whizzing past his opponent.
Earlier, Nadal fought his way past Britain’s Andy Murray in a three-hour tussle and Federer will start as favourite in Sunday’s final which will be only the second time the two players have met this year.