The semifinals of the star-studded Paris Masters lived up to the hype. The latest encounter between Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer was everything fans could have asked for, while countrymen Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer also had an entertaining encounter.
Let's check out the results from both matches before taking a look ahead to Sunday's championship match. The winner will ride a wave of confidence and momentum into next week's ATP World Tour Finals, the final tournament of the season.
|SF No. 1||No. 5 Roger Federer||No. 2 Novak Djokovic||Djokovic: 4-6, 6-3, 6-2|
|SF No. 2||No. 3 David Ferrer||No. 1 Rafael Nadal||Ferrer: 6-3, 7-5|
Championship Match Preview
Before Saturday's semifinal, Nadal had compiled a 20-4 record against Ferrer, including nine straight head-to-head victories dating back to the 2011 Australian Open. One win won't erase those past results, but it has to feel good for Ferrer.
The victory was a combination of Ferrer playing really well and Nadal failing to showcase top form throughout the match. It was a surprising performance from the 13-time Grand Slam winner given the fact that he hadn't dropped a set leading up to the semifinals, and Ferrer took full advantage.
On the flip side, Djokovic got off to a slow start against Federer and let the first set slip away. From there, fans saw the difference between the Swiss sensation at his peak and where he currently stands at this stage of his career.
Federer wasn't able to close the door like he did with relative ease when he was at his most dominant. Instead, Djokovic fought back to win the second set. From there, the sense was he would take the third, and he did exactly that.
It sets up a championship encounter between Ferrer and Djokovic, who have met 15 times. The talent Serbian star has won 10 of those matches, including the last four. Their only meeting this season came at the Australian Open, where Djokovic prevailed without dropping more than two games in any set.
Who will capture the Paris Masters title?
The biggest key for Ferrer to make the Paris Masters final more competitive is finding a way to make inroads on Djokovic's serve. He didn't even generate a single break point in Australia, despite being an above-average returner overall.
Coming off a rare win over Nadal, he should have enough confidence to attack a little more aggressively than he did in that previous match.
That said, Djokovic played really well in the final two sets of his semifinal triumph over Federer and has only dropped one of his past 12 sets against Ferrer. Look for him to secure another Masters title.
Prediction: Djokovic wins 7-5, 6-4