Roger Federer isn’t shying away from the opportunity to avenge his Wimbledon final loss against Novak Djokovic. The Swiss held two match points on his serve but fell 7-6(5), 1-6, 7-6(4), 4-6, 13-12(3), marking the first time in Wimbledon history that a fifth-set tie-break decided the final.
“We have played a lot of matches since, and I think we both look back at a great match. I think we both can take away some confidence from the match. Him, obviously a lot. Me, maybe a tad bit less,” Federer said.
“But at the end of the day, I wasn’t hoping [for] him not to be in my section or in my draw. I didn’t hope I was never going to play him again.
“Actually, it’s good for me to play him again, and maybe that all helps to get a chance to get him back or whatever it is… I’m personally excited to play against Novak on Thursday.”
Their Group Bjorn Borg meeting will be their first matchup since they played in the longest Wimbledon final in history (four hours and 57 minutes). Djokovic became the first Wimbledon champion to save match points in the final in 71 years.
The Serbian, who faces fifth seed Dominic Thiem on Tuesday night, leads his FedEx ATP Head2Head series with Federer 26-22 and has won their past four matchups. Djokovic is also 3-2 against Federer at the Nitto ATP Finals.
“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. “I still thought I played a great final and a great tournament, beating Rafa there along the way.
“I’m excited [to be] playing against him. I’m excited to see how he’s going to play tonight, as well. It’s definitely going to give me some more information about what to expect.
“But other than that, I think I need to focus on my game, what I do best. And regardless of what I need to do, I just hope I play well.”