Of the Top 4 players in the world, only Roger Federer was able to advance to the semifinals at the ATP World Tour Finals.
On Saturday, the favored Federer will meet David Ferrer in the first semifinal. In the second it’s Jo-Wilfried Tsonga against comeback kid Tomas Berdych.
In a must win, Berdych earned his spot by overcoming a 6-3, 4-2 deficit to stun Ferrer 3-6, 7-5, 6-1.
“The turning point, I think, was just the one that I made on set point to win the second set, because all the time before I was down,” said Berdych. “When I made the second set, it just gave me a lot of confidence [and] energy. I started to feel really great on court.”
Berdych was playing his third three setter of his round robin while the surprising Ferrer dropped his first two sets of the tournament.
“I think I was playing good the first set, and [then in] the middle of the second maybe at 4 3, 40/15, I didn’t serve really well,” said Ferrer. “I served very badly and I played my shots very short. In the third set, he was playing with more confidence. When it’s not working, my serve, it’s very difficult to beat the top players.”
The win gave the Czech the Group A top spot, eliminating world No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the process.
A fatigued Djokovic lost earlier to countryman Janko Tipsarevic 3-6, 6-3, 6-3.
“He [Tipsarevic] deserved to win,” said Djokovic. “He was the better player in the second part of the match. It’s obvious it’s never easy to perform against somebody you know very well. Regardless who is across the net, obviously you want to win. That was the case today. But it wasn’t meant to be. I’m glad he got the chance to play and got the chance to win as well. It can give him a lot of confidence for next year.”
Djokovic ends the season with three Grand Slam titles and the No. 1 ranking. He finishes with a 70-6 record and 10 titles on the year but none since his US Open title over two months ago.
“I had an unbelievable year,” said Djokovic who has battled a bad shoulder since the summer. “Nothing can really ruin that. I will always remember this year as the best of my life. I just want to prepare well for 2012.”
In the semifinals tomorrow Federer will put his 15-match win streak against Ferrer who he has beaten in all 11 of their career meetings with just three sets lost.
Also on the line for Federer is the No. 3 ranking which he will secure by beating Ferrer.
Power hitters Tsonga and Berdych meet for just the second time in their ATP career (not including a 2004 Challenger) with the first, won by Berdych in three sets, coming last month in Beijing.
“It’s going to be definitely different match than the three previous ones,” said Berdych. “I think Jo is different. He likes to play aggressive. He likes to vary the game. [I] just need to rest and prepare for it. We are both playing well this week.”
The 30-year-old Federer is the only player left to have won the ATP Finals. Ferrer has been a finalist losing to Federer in 2007 Masters Cup finale while Berdych and Tsonga are competing in the semifinal stage for a first time.
The doubles semifinals feature top seeds Bob and Mike Bryan against No. 3 Max Mirnyi and Daniel Nestor followed later in the day by No. 4 seeds Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes vs. No. 8 Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski.
Tennis Channel will have delayed TV coverage of the two semifinals at 11am ET and 5pm ET. ESPN3.com has live streaming of both semifinals at 9am and 3pm ET. ESPN2 will also re-air the semifinals from 5am-9am Sunday morning.
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