Stefanos Tsitsipas ends Roger Federer’s hopes of a seventh title

Stefanos Tsitsipas kicks the ball as he celebrates victory against Switzerland's Roger Federer. Picture: AFP/Getty
Stefanos Tsitsipas kicks the ball as he celebrates victory against Switzerland's Roger Federer. Picture: AFP/Getty
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Roger Federer’s bid for a seventh ATP Finals title was ended by Greek debutant Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Federer, the oldest man in the field at 38, was beaten by the youngest as Tsitsipas swept into the final 6-3, 6-4. For the second year running the 20-time grand slam champion was taken out by a 21-year-old at the semi-final stage. Twelve months ago it was Alexander Zverev who accounted for the Swiss master and this year it was the turn of sixth seed Tsitsipas.

The changing of the old guard may be taking its time – Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Federer once again ended the year as the top three – but it is definitely on its way.

Tsitsipas, clearly finding the zippy hard courts at London’s 02 to his liking, showed no ill-effects despite battling with Nadal for nigh on three hours on Friday afternoon.

However Federer, pictured, was unable to reach the heights he scaled while dismantling Novak Djokovic two nights ago.

He had his chances, though, creating no fewer than 12 break points, but only managing to convert one of them. That should have come as no surprise, however, as in their previous three meetings Federer had forced 22 break points, 18 of which were saved by Tsitsipas.

Tsitsipas warded off another six in the opening set while taking his only one in the second game, burying a forehand down the line.

He served for the set at 5-3, but with Federer briefly looking more tuned in, it took the youngster 15 minutes and seven set points to get over the line.

An error-strewn start to the second set from Federer handed Tsitsipas another break but the eight-time Wimbledon champion pulled it straight back, finally winning a break point at the 10th attempt.

A third break in a row saw Tsitsipas seize the initiative once more, frustration etched on Federer’s face as he shanked a routine backhand wide before a forehand whizzed past him.

Federer kept the pressure on as Tsitsipas served for the match, but once again the man from Athens saved break points, two of them, before finishing the job with an ace.

Tsitsipas said: “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.”