Something is happening, in this sport attached to the usual suspects and old certainties, if Federer-Djokovic act n. 49, tonight in London, a playoff to decide who goes into the semifinals at the Atp Finals. The non-Russian revolution (Daniil Medvedev, 23, yesterday was one point away from the elimination of No. 1 in the world Rafa Nadal, able to draw on inexhaustible resources to go up from 0-4, 1-5 to the third set and close 6 -7, 6-3, 7-6 in 2 hours and 46 '); the revolution a fire that smolders under the ashes.
The most ready for the big blow, grab 2.871.000 dollars and 1.500 points for the ranking in case of victory from unbeaten and run, seems to be the 26-year-old Austrian Dominik Thiem, produced by the Wiener Neustadt steelworks and refined by the care of former Chilean professional Nicolas Massu, the first to come out of the iron round with qualifying in his pocket after two frightening demonstrations of force with Federer , so far a little deflated, and Djokovic, scrambled in three sets of Hapsburg athletic vigor.
As Nadal-Medvedev was not the revenge of the US Open final, so tonight Federer-Djokovic cannot be compared to the Wimbledon final finished 13-12 for the Serbian after five hours of superfine gardening and 421 points played. Different surfaces, conditions (here we are indoor), the rules (two sets out of three) and the atmosphere with all respect for this bandwagon that in 2021 will move to Turin, with its monstrous prize, the videogame set-up, the music at the field changes and the rain of confetti on the king.
At the end-of-season sales, for, awaiting a real revenge on the grass of the Temple a few kilometers from the O2 Arena (soon, please: the teacher will turn 39 next year), Roger arrives tired and distracted by too many performances. The Laver Cup conquered by Europe captain in Geneva respecting an artfully written script (the event organized by the Swiss management company), plus the South American tour which starts on Monday. Private flight with bodyguard on board for Buenos Aires, five games (against revived Del Potro in Argentina and then with Zverev) in six days (Baires, Santiago, Bogot, Mexico City, Quito) from November 20th to 26th, pulverized tickets in advance, rock star hospitality, gala dinner for a thousand people at the Puerto Madero Hilton: it's called Federer Experience and not free: 98,175 pesos (about 1,500 euros) for a day with the star, photos and tickets for the match.
And not finished. Two days after Christmas that the Swiss will spend in Dubai, Federermania will move to China, in Hangzhou, and on February 7th in Cape Town for a friendly match with solid-born Rafa Nadal, the 33-year-old receding hairline who, like Roger, is trying to survive in this infernal group called Master, almost ready – perhaps – to handover.
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