Novak Djokovic sends humbling message to Roger Federer after painful ATP Finals loss | Tennis | Sport

Novak Djokovic had nothing but admiration for Roger Federer after their thrilling ATP Finals contest.

Federer entered the final group match against Djokovic as the underdog with the world No 3 struggling through his opening two rounds.

But the 38-year-old stepped up a gear and rolled back the years with a performance of the ages in front of the baying 02 crowd.

Djokovic had no answer for Federer’s onslaught in the first set with the 20-time Grand Slam champion serving expertly along while also gliding across the baseline with some ferocious forehand and backhand winners.

The performance had the fans inside the arena on their feet at times, cheering on Federer.

At times, the partisan support spilled over too far with some cheers when Djokovic double-faulted in the second set.

That seemed to clearly affect the world No 2 but Federer never relented as he took the game in straight sets to progress to the semi-finals.

Djokovic looked dejected as he left the court while Federer revelled in the support from the London crowd.

But Djokovic was full of admiration for his opponent after the match, labelling Federer as a role model even to himself.

“Well, it motivates me,” the Serbian said.

“I mean, it shows me it’s possible [smiling].

“I have the utmost admiration for him and everything he’s doing on the court.

“What he has achieved over the years and what he’s still showing on the court is phenomenal.

“He’s a role model, even for me that I’m one of his rivals and, you know, one of the toughest opponents I’ve had in my career.

“Looking at his career and what he’s still doing, it just inspires you.”

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