Comment & Analysis @RazMirza
Roger Federer stunned by Stefanos Tsitsipas in semi-finals of ATP Finals
Stefanos Tsitsipas becomes third debutant (after Grigor Dimitrov and David Goffin) to reach the final of the ATP Finals in London
Last Updated: 18/11/19 6:59am
Debutant Stefanos Tsitsipas caused a major shock by ending Roger Federer's chances of landing a record-extending seventh ATP Finals to reach Sunday's showpiece.
The Swiss master, who was aiming to reach Sunday's showpiece of the ATP Finals for an 11th time and first since 2015, was bettered by the young pupil from Greece as Tsitsipas landed a breathtaking 6-3 6-4 victory to make it through to the final.
Tsitsipas will now face Austrian Dominic Thiem, who defeated defending champion Alexander Zverev in the second semi-final.
A year after winning the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan, Tsitsipas is aiming to follow Zverev as the second successive 21-year-old champion and the 6ft 4in Greek made the perfect start by winning four of the opening five games as the pair went toe-to-toe.
Crowd favourite Federer, who recorded his first win in four years over arch-nemesis Novak Djokovic to reach the last four, failed to take advantage of three break points in the seventh game - six in total - with those opportunities proving costly in the end as Tsitsipas eventually won a marathon 15-minute ninth game with his seventh set point.
Tsitsipas, playing his 96th match of 2019, was put through his paces in a three-set loss to world No 1 Rafael Nadal on Friday, but he was revelling in the atmosphere of 17,500 spectators as he took advantage of a plethora of unforced errors from the Swiss to break to love in the third game of the second set.
Federer had maintained his proud record of having never failed to reach the semi-finals here at London's O2, but he appeared to be down and out until he finally made a breakthrough with a 10th break point of the match to restore parity at 2-2 as his legion of fans chanted his name in unison.
It was, however, to be short-lived as Tsitsipas edged ahead in the very next game and that proved to be the pivotal moment in the match as he extinguished any hopes Federer had of making a comeback.
Indicative of the way the match had gone Federer failed with two more break point chances in the 10th game - making it 12 in total - before Tsitsipas fired down an ace on his first match point to make history for Greek tennis.
Stats of the match
Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Roger Federer: Match Stats
|64%||1st serve win percentage||70%|
|55%||2nd serve win percentage||46%|
|3/4||Break points won||1/12|
|3/8||Net points won||12/17|
|76||Total points won||67|
Did you know...
21-year-old Tsitsipas beat 38-year-old Federer in semi-finals - a 17-year age gap was the biggest in 50-year event history.
Tsitsipas saved 11/12 break points on Saturday (12/12 vs Federer at Australian Open).
Greek is youngest ATP Finals finalist since Juan Martin del Potro, 21, in 2009.
Stef so proud of performance
I'm so proud of myself today, it was a great performance. Sometimes in matches like these you wonder how you recover from difficulties and break point down. It is a mental struggle and I'm proud how many I saved today, I was trying not to give Roger an easy time. He was an inspiration as always. Playing him is the biggest honour I can have and today's victory is probably one of my best moments of the season.
Federer: He was just a little bit better today
It's the year-end. It's over now and I can't make it better. I tried everything I could, to be honest,. I tried to chip it, tried to stay back and hit some. I tried to come forward. And for the most part I actually tried to play up in the court and tried to play aggressive, but of course with his aggression, it's not always easy because he always takes the ball very early himself too. I knew he was going to be incredibly athletic. He was just a little bit better today at all those little things.