The unexpected turn of events in the Bjorn Borg Group has surprised many, with only one out of the two favorites to top the group expected to qualify for the semifinals. When the draw was made, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic were tipped to make it to the semifinals with ease. However, that earlier narrative has changed. They have been left to fight for the remaining one slot after Dominic Thiem booked a place in the semifinals. Federer is set to face off with Djokovic this Thursday to determine who progresses to the next round.

The match between the Serbian and the Swiss is expected to be hotly contested with a semifinal’s qualifications at stake. The two have been off to a slow start in this year’s season-ending tournament. They both lost to Dominic Thiem but managed to ease past the Italian debutant Matteo Berrettini, whom after losing his opening two group match doesn’t have any chance of progressing to the next stage. Dominic Thiem beat Federer 7-5,7-5 in his match on Sunday, before defeating Federer 6-7,6-3,7-6 on Tuesday.

Federer will be hoping to capitalize on this opportunity to revenge the defeat against Djokovic he suffered at the Wimbledon final. The Serbian won 7-6(5),1-6,7-6(4),4-6,13-12(3) in a history-making match, which lasted for four hours and 57 minutes. Djokovic established himself as the first champion to save match points in Wimbledon final in 71 years.

“I think indoors you’ve got to go with what you can do best. At the end of the day, maybe it took me a few days, couple weeks at most to get over the Wimbledon loss,” Federer said as reported by the ATP website.

Roger Federer vs Novak Djokovic

Matteo Berrettini is all but out in the race for the semifinals spot. It is now down to the world No.3 and world No.2 to battle it out for the remaining one spot since Dominic Thiem previously qualified for the semifinals after beating the Serbian.

The two will be meeting for the 49th time since the Wimbledon showdown. Novak will be hoping to continue his hunt for the world number one rank currently being held by Rafael Nadal. This means he will need to defeat Federer to keep his dream alive. He needs to make it to the finals to topple Rafa from the number one spot. Besides, he will be seeking to match Pete Sampras’s current record of finishing the year at the top of the ATP World rankings on six occasions.

“We go head to head with Roger. The winner goes to semis. The loser doesn’t qualify. As simple as that,” Djokovic told reporters ahead of his match against Federer.

The Swiss will try to avoid a second group stage elimination in his 17 ATP Finals appearances. Also, he will be hoping to win his 7th ATP Finals; hence, a win against Djokovic is very crucial. They have already met 48 times with The Serbian leading with 26 wins against the Swiss’ 22 wins. Djokovic is currently ranked at number 2, whereas Federer is 3rd in the ATP world tennis rankings. Honestly speaking, the stakes are very high for the two great tennis players.

Who is tipped to win?

According to bettingonline.co.uk and their head to head statistics, Novak Djokovic might be the favorite to win the Thursday match against Roger Federer. In the last 11 games, the Serbian has won 9 times whereas the Swiss has won only twice. If you narrow it down to the last five meetings, the Serbian has won all of them. Basing on these amazing stats against his upcoming opponent, perhaps the current world number 2 might progress into the finals.

Novak Djokovic’s ranking and performance in 2019

Novak Djokovic Stats info

Ranked no.2, Novak played his last match on the 12th of November when he surrendered to Dominic Thiem 6-75 6-3 7-65 in the R in London.

This year the Serbian has a 54-10 win-loss record. Novak has won 5 titles in 2019 at the Australian Open, in Madrid, in Wimbledon, in Tokyo and in Paris. Djokovic was the finalist in Rome.

Federer in London, ranking, and results in 2019

Roger Federer Stats info

Ranked no.3, Federer has a 50-9 win-loss record in 2019. Federer is now playing in London where he defeated Matteo Berrettini 7-62 6-3.

The Swiss will take on Djokovic in the Round Robin. The head to head is 26-22 for Djokovic.

The last time that they played, Djokovic won 7-65 1-6 7-64 4-6 13-123 in the final in London on the 14th July 2019.

Federer conquered 4 titles in 2019 in Dubai, in Miami, in Halle and in Basel. Federer was the finalist in Indian Wells and in Wimbledon.

Federer won 103 titles in his career: 47 on hard courts, 11 on clay courts, 21 on indoor courts, 5 on carpet courts and 19 on grass courts. (See the list of his titles)

Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer played each other 49 times. The head to head is 27-22 for Djokovic.

The last time that they squared off, Novak Djokovic won 7-65 1-6 7-64 4-6 13-123 in the final in Wimbledon on the 14th July 2019.

Here the highlights.

Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer

Embed from Getty Images

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