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ATP World Tour Finals 2013 Day 2: Djokovic downs Federer

Novak Djokovic at the O2 Arena in 2013

Wimbledon.com's highlights from the second day of the  Barclays ATP World Tour Finals at London's O2 Arena...

A gentle reminder from Djokovic
It was billed as a blockbuster between the two giants of the O2 Arena, and so it sort of proved, Novak Djokovic, the defending champion, taking three sets to beat Roger Federer, the two-time champion. In a repeat of their encounter here in the final in 2012, Djokovic prevailed 6-4, 6-7(2), 6-2 over Federer in a match that had the London crowd enthralled from start to finish. As had been the case on Monday for Stanislas Wawrinka, Federer was championed by some very fervent Swiss admirers, but it could not prevent a ninth loss in his last 12 against the Serb. Djokovic started the stronger, as perhaps expected, boosted by his win in Paris. But, although Federer has never beaten Djokovic after dropping the first set, he clawed his way back in what are arguably his favourite conditions - an indoor hard court - winning the second set tie-break after squandering set points to force a decider. The trouble for Federer is that Djokovic likes those conditions too. As Federer's game descended towards erratic, Djokovic upped his, breaking to start the third set. That was it. 

One win from year-end No.1
As with everything he's achieved in 2013, it's hard to mention Rafael Nadal without using the words 'this time last year.' So, this time last year, he was watching the World Tour Finals in the midst of rehab. This time this year, he is one win away from securing the year-end world No.1 ranking for what would be only the third time in his career (2008, 2010).

Nadal moved to within a victory of the year-end spot after beating fellow Spaniard David Ferrer 6-3, 6-2, a turn-around of Ferrer's win over Nadal in the Paris semi-finals last weekend.

"I played a little calmer than other the day," said Nadal. "In my opinion, he didn't have the chance to hit a winner as easy as he did three days ago."

"Rafael play good, he started very solid," said Ferrer. "I didn't play my game [throughout] the match. I made a lot of mistakes. I was not comfortable at the court. For me to beat Rafael, I need to be more focused."

Bryans bumped
If Bob and Mike Bryan could do no wrong between winning Olympic gold in 2012 and winning Wimbledon in 2013, cleaning up at practically every event they attended, since their quest to complete a calendar year Grand Slam came to an end in the semi-finals of the US Open, perhaps it's fair to say they seem human once again. At least Marcelo Melo and Ivan Dodig, debutantes at this year's World Tour Finals seemed to think so, seizing their moment to upset the world No.1s, arguably the best doubles combination of all time, 3-6, 6-3, 10-8.  

The other doubles of the day saw a 6-3, 5-7, 10-8 win for Radek Stepanek and Leander Paes, the US Open champions, over Alexander Peya and Bruno Soares. 

In recognition
It's easy to forget that the ATP World Tour Finals is as much, or a little bit as much, about honouring the achievements and efforts of the men's tour throughout the year, alongside the sideshow of who will be crowned year-end champion. So it was that Jiri Vesely and Pablo Carreno Busta both posed under London's bright lights. Vesely was in town to be crowned the rather grandiose Star of Tomorrow, in recognition of his efforts in becoming the youngest player to finish the year in the top 100. 

"I started the year No. 263; I never expected to make the Top 100,” said Vesely.

Carreno Busta was voted by his fellow players as most improved player of the year, climbing from a year-end ranking of No.715 last season to a career-high No.66 in 2013, beginning with an impressive effort on the Futures circuit that saw him win 35 straight matches and seven titles from eight finals.

"It was an incredible season, winning seven Futures titles,” said Carreno Busta. “I improved my tennis and my ranking and I would love to be here next year at The O2."

Meanwhile, Pakistani doubles player Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi was presented with a $10,000 cheque for Stop War, Start Tennis from ATP ACES For Charity. 

Coming up on Wednesday...

Afternoon Session (12:00 GMT)
Leander Paes & Radek Stepanek v David Marrero & Fernando Verdasco
Rafael Nadal v Stanislas Wawrinka

Evening Session (18:00 GMT)
Alexander Peya & Bruno Soares v Marcel Granollers & Marc Lopez
David Ferrer & Tomas Berdych

Want to see any of this live? There are still tickets available...

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20:08It brings me no pleasure but it's time to bring the curtain down for another year. Seemed somehow appropriate to leave the last word to Roger Federer. Thanks a billion for reading. What a fortnight, what a final, fast forward to 2015 please...

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