Soak it in, Stefanos ?#NittoATPFinald

— ATP Tour (@atptour) November 16, 2019

Twelve months ago it was Alexander Zverev who accounted for the Swiss master and this year sixth seed Tsitsipas sent him packing.

The changing of the old guard may be taking its time – Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Federer once again ended the year as the top three – but it is definitely on its way.

Tsitsipas, clearly finding the zippy hard courts at London’s 02 to his liking, showed no ill-effects despite battling with Nadal for nigh on three hours on Friday afternoon.

Federer, meanwhile, was unable to reach the heights he scaled while dismantling Novak Djokovic two nights ago.Federer was unable to get the better of Tsitsipas (John Walton/PA)

He had his chances, though, creating no fewer than 12 break points, but only managing to convert one of them.

That should have come as no surprise, however, as in their previous three meetings Federer had forced 22 break points and Tsitsipas saved 18 of them.

Tsitsipas warded off another six in the opening set while taking his only one in the second game, burying a forehand down the line.

He served for the set at 5-3, but with Federer briefly looking more tuned in, it took the youngster 15 minutes and seven set points to get over the line.

An error-strewn start to the second set from Federer handed Tsitsipas another break but the eight-time Wimbledon champion pulled it straight back, finally winning a break point at the 10th attempt.

But a third break in a row saw Tsitsipas seize the initiative once more, frustration etched on Federer’s face as he shanked a routine backhand wide before a forehand whizzed past him.

Federer kept the pressure on as Tsitsipas served for the match, but once again the man from Athens saved break points, two of them, before finishing the job with an ace.Tsitsipas showed no ill effects from his lengthy battle with Nadal on Friday (John Walton/PA)

Tsitsipas said: “I’m so proud of myself today, it was a great performance.

“Sometimes in matches like these you wonder how you recover from difficulties and break point down.

“It is a mental struggle and I’m proud how many I saved today, I was trying not to give Roger an easy time.

“He was an inspiration as always. Playing him is the biggest honour I can have and today’s victory is probably one of my best moments of the season.”

More on this topic

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  • Stefanos Tsitsipas sees off Dominic Thiem to win the ATP Finals

  • Nadal celebrates year-end world number one ranking with win over Tsitsipas

  • Federer avenges Wimbledon final defeat to see off Djokovic at ATP Finals


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