13th of November 2012 Author: Johnny Karp
World number one Novak Djokovic dedicated his victory over Roger Federer at the ATP World Tour Finals to his ill father. The Serb defeated Federer 7-6 (8-6) 7-5 to win the season-ending title at London's O2 Arena. After the match Djokovic revealed how he had been motivated by his father Srdjan, who is said to be suffering from an acute respiratory illness. "This was a title for him," said the world number one. "He's much better now. At a certain stage it was very critical. We didn't know what tomorrow brings, but now he's much better and he's recovering. He's still in intensive care. I'm going to visit him and see how it goes and try to bring the trophy with me and at least make him smile."
Djokovic said that his achievement of retaining the top ranking felt comparable to his great achievements of 2011, when he won three of the four Grand Slam titles and went on a glorious 43-match winning streak. "All in all, it was a fantastic year where I've had to face a lot of difficulties off the courts as well," he said. "Especially coming into this tournament, having my father fighting his own fight for health gave me extra strength that I wanted to play for him in a way, that's one of the reasons I really gave it all every match, especially tonight. I actually feel more satisfied right now than last year, even though I had an incredible 2011. I feel this year, considering the circumstances that I had to face on and off the court, the expectations, all these things, has been even more successful for me."
Djokovic fell behind in both sets against Federer but fought back and found his way past the 17-time Grand Slam champion. "He's somebody that's aggressive, that likes to finish his points very quickly" said Djokovic. "Especially when he's a break up, he's probably the best player I ever played against, he comes up always with his 'A' game when he's up. It's very difficult to handle that. But I managed to gets lot of his shots back into the court, being passive, a couple of metres behind the baseline, coming into an aggressive position. That was one of the goals tonight, to always try to get him into the long rallies where I think I had the better chance."
The ATP tennis players will go on a well-deserved vacation at this point, but you can already bet on the outcome of the first major tournament of 2013, the Austratian Open. Bet365 have Djokovic as favourite to win at 11/8, Andy Murray is priced at 9/4 and Roger Federer is at 9/2.
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