Roger Federer 2014 year-end No. 1 hopes crashed on Friday when the Swiss lost to Milos Raonic 7-6, 7-5 in the quarterfinals at the Paris Indoors.
Federer’s loss and Novak Djokovic’s win over Andy Murray meant the Serb will extend his 490 ranking point lead.
“I’m going to stay on indoors now,” he added. “Obviously two days more is big. So I’m looking forward to some days off right now, really resting my body to the max in a short period of time. I have plenty of days now to get ready for London, which is kind of nice, as well. So I can actually properly practise for a change as well again.”
Raonic had never beaten Federer in six previous attempts, and this was his first win over a Big Three player.
“It’s special,” said Raonic who makes his Paris SF. “To be playing as well as I did today. To be able to make the most of it in that situationg with all the circumstances in hand, I believe I played some of my best tennis with the pressure on.”
Federer entered the match on a 14-match win streak.
Earlier in the day, Tomas Berdych overcame a break down in the third to deny Kevin Anderson 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-4. Berdych 12th straight win over the South African clinched his berth in London. Berdych will now face Raonic in a very big man semifinals.
“If I can do what I did today I’ll have my opportunities,” Raonic said. “I got to play well and control the center of the court.”
Defending champion Djokovic cruised past Andy Murray 7-5, 6-2. Murray held a break early in the second but that was the lone bright spot for the Scot who drops his fourth straight to the World No. 1.
“Obviously it helps the battle between Roger and me that I progressed to the semis and he didn’t,” said Djokovic. “But I’m trying not to think about the calculations. I have to focus on my own matches and try to play as well as I did in my first couple of matches of this tournament. Hopefully I can finish the year as No. 1.”
Djokovic moves on to face Kei Nishikori who knocked out David Ferrer 3-6, 7-6, 6-4 to clinch and finalize the ATP London year-end event.
Nishikori’s win makes him the first Asian born player to ever qualify for the Finals. And Raonic also earns a spot as well.
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