Could Federer Face Nadal Next?
Roger Federer played scintillating tennis to defeat Novak Djokovic 6-4, 6-3 on Thursday evening, earning a spot in the semi-finals of the Nitto ATP Finals. That victory made the Swiss star the second-placed player in Group Bjorn Borg. On Saturday, the 38-year-old will face the winner of Group Andre Agassi, which will be determined on Friday.
That player could be Rafael Nadal.
If Nadal defeats Stefanos Tsitsipas and Daniil Medvedev beats defending champion Alexander Zverev, the lefty will top Group Andre Agassi, setting up a semi-final blockbuster against Federer. Nadal cannot finish second in his group.
Nadal leads the pair's epic FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry 24-16, but Federer has won four of their five matchups at the Nitto ATP Finals. The last time the legends clashed at the season finale was in 2013 — also in the semi-finals — when the Spaniard earned his first victory against the Swiss at this event to reach his second final at the year-end championships.
Three of the Federer-Nadal meetings at the Nitto ATP Finals have come since the event moved to The O2 in London in 2009. But they also battled twice in China when the tournament was called the Tennis Masters Cup. Federer won both of those matches — which came in 2006 and 2007 — in straight sets.
Federer won his fifth of a record six Nitto ATP Finals titles by defeating Nadal in the 2010 championship. That was their only contest at this event that went to a deciding set, with Federer emerging victorious 6-3, 3-6, 6-1.
Did You Know?
Federer has advanced to the semi-finals of the Nitto ATP Finals in 16 of his 17 appearances, including this year.