The ghostbuster of British tennis struck again.
Both finalists were history men but Novak Djokovic underlined that he has more of it in front of him than does Roger Federer when he beat the Swiss in two sets to become the first player to win the ATP World Tour Finals title four years in a row.
When Novak Djokovic plays Roger Federer on the southern reaches of the Thames on Sunday night for the 44th time in one of sport’s great rivalries, he will be driven by an urge to prove he is not only the best player in the world this week but the best of his era.
Andy Murray clearly endured heavy disappointment when Stan Wawrinka bundled him out of the 2015 ATP World Tour Finals in two sets here on Friday night – but there was also discernible relief that he can now shift his attention to helping Great Britain win the Davis Cup in Belgium next weekend.
As tactics to win a game of tennis go, this is pretty drastic...
Novak Djokovic burnished his shield of invincibility as the season he regards as his “best ever” rolled on with the momentum of a runaway horse towards its conclusion in London this week.
Rarely more than the length of a phsyio’s table from angst, Andy Murray has put his fate over the concluding weeks of the season in the intuitive hands of a former ballet dancer who once shared a stage with Michael Crawford. As Judy Murray might say, some mothers do, indeed, have ’em.
Andy Murray has insisted he will give his best in the ATP World Tour Finals in London – where he has rarely done that well – but admitted the Davis Cup a week later remains his priority.
Andy Murray is through to his first final in this old, gilded event and is in excellent shape for the French Open, which starts next Sunday – but he is not altogether sure playing Novak Djokovic on his 29th birthday will do him any favours.
Serena Williams returns this week to Paris, her second home, as reigning French Open champion and owner of her fourth Italian Open title, a considerable comfort to her after failing to win two previous finals in an uneven start to the 2016 season.
It is three years now since Serena Williams picked up the phone and called Patrick Mouratoglou, then a relatively little-known coach, to ask if she could use the facilities at his academy on the outskirts of Paris.
They say nothing lasts for ever in the Eternal City but this was ridiculous.
Tennis doesn’t do grand farewells, with trumpets blazing to announce the conclusion of one era and the beginning of another; change is usually more dignified, with measured, almost imperceptible abdications allowing space for the next princeling.
Roger Federer followed the world No1, Novak Djokovic, out of the Monte Carlo Masters on Friday, beaten yet surprisingly upbeat, then revealed he may not play again until the French Open in five weeks’ time, arousing concerns that his injured knee is worse than he is letting on.
Rafael Nadal has confirmed he is suing the former French sports minister Roselyne Bachelot for alleging he had absented himself from the Tour in 2012 to hide the use of performance-enhancing drugs.
It was closing on midnight when Serena Williams came to the main interview room here, still with half an eye on history, still a bundle of impenetrable anxiety and still ready for a barrage of questions about her sister.