Djokovic win ATP Tour fi­nals

Gor­don fined $100,000 for wreck­ing at Phoenix

The Pak Banker - - Front Page -

LON­DON

No­vak Djokovic pro­duced a mas­ter­ful dis­play to end Roger Fed­erer's reign as ATP Tour Fi­nals cham­pion as the world num­ber one swept to a 7-6 (8/6), 7-5 vic­tory in the fi­nal on Mon­day.

Djokovic un­der­lined why he will fin­ish as the world's top ranked player for the sec­ond suc­ces­sive year as the Serb with­stood an early bar­rage from Fed­erer in both sets be­fore over­whelm­ing the six­time Tour Fi­nals win­ner in an epic en­counter last­ing two hours and 14 min­utes at Lon­don's O2 Arena.

The 25-year-old's bril­liant dis­play clinched his sec­ond tri­umph at the pres­ti­gious sea­son-end­ing event and his first since 2008 when he won the ti­tle in Shang­hai.

Af­ter win­ning the Aus­tralian Open in Jan­uary and then fall­ing short in the fol­low­ing three Grand Slams - he lost in the fi­nals of the French and US Opens - this was the per­fect way to end any de­bate about Djokovic's right to be re­garded as the world's best. "It's al­ways a priv­i­lege and a chal­lenge to play Roger," Djokovic said. "I want to thank my team, I couldn't have done it with­out you. I love you!" For Fed­erer, bid­ding for a hat-trick of Tour Fi­nals ti­tles, there was only frus­tra­tion as he failed to take ad­van­tage of some dom­i­nant spells. The 17-time Grand Slam cham­pion is the most suc­cess­ful player in the his­tory of the event, hav­ing won more ti­tles and recorded more match wins than any­one else. But even he couldn't sub­due the ram­pant Djokovic, who handed Fed­erer just his sec­ond de­feat in eight ap­pear­ances in the fi­nal of the Tour Fi­nals and only his third ever loss at the O2 Arena. "Con­grat­u­la­tions to No­vak on an amaz­ing tour­na­ment and an amaz­ing year, You are the best. It has been an amaz­ing year for me too," Fed­erer said.

For just the fourth time in the 43-year his­tory of the Tour Fi­nals, the top two in the world rank­ings were meet­ing in the fi­nal and they pro­duced an en­thralling clash that lived up to its billing. Fed­erer fizzed win­ners past Djokovic from all an­gles to take the first nine points of the match, break­ing in the sec­ond game in the process. Af­ter ab­sorb­ing that fren­zied as­sault, Djokovic got on the score­board when he held serve in the fourth game.

Fed­erer must have known Djokovic wouldn't sur­ren­der and the Serb turned the match on its head when he con­verted a break point in the next game.

Now Djokovic was in the as­cen­dancy and he broke for a 5-4 lead when he un­loaded a sear­ing fore­hand win­ner on the run. But Fed­erer staved off a set point in the next game and took ad­van­tage of that es­cape to break back for 5-5.

NEW YORK

NASCAR pledged it wouldn't ren­der im­me­di­ate judg­ment on Jeff Gor­don for his role in wreck­ing Clint Bowyer and up­end­ing the end of Sun­day's Phoenix race. But of­fi­cials didn't wait much longer, hand­ing down a de­ci­sion on Mon­day evening: a fine of $100,000 and a 25point penalty.

It was not a sur­pris­ing penalty, but it will cer­tainly dis­ap­point those who be­lieved Gor­don de­served sus­pen­sion for his ac­tions. Gor­don not only ig­nored a black flag, he al­tered the cham­pi­onship bat­tle by tak­ing out one of the fi­nal con­tenders.

How­ever, un­like Kyle Busch, sus­pended last year for a sim­i­lar in­ci­dent, Gor­don does not have a long track record of flaunt­ing both author­ity and his fel­low driv­ers. For that rea­son, he es­caped a more se­vere pu­n­ish­ment.

"There's no doubt that a unique set of cir­cum­stances com­bined with a cham­pi­onship bat­tle on the line re­sulted in raw emo­tions com­ing into play," said NASCAR VP of com­pe­ti­tion Robin Pem­ber­ton.

"We con­sider the penal­ties ap­pro­pri­ate and those in­volved un­der­stand our de­ci­sion and we ex­pect them to abide by them."

NASCAR also fined Brian Pat­tie, Bowyer's crew chief, $25,000 for fail­ing to keep his crew in line. Alan Gustafson, Gor­don's chief, was placed on pro­ba­tion for the rest of the year over the in­ci­dent as well.

That set­tles things from NASCAR's end, but what about the driv­ers? Bowyer all but pledged re­tal­i­a­tion on Gor­don.

If that hap­pens to have cham­pi­onship im­pli­ca­tions - un­likely but pos­si­ble - that could re­open the en­tire mat­ter. If not, well ... this one goes into the NASCAR sto­ry­books as one of the mo­ments that got the coun­try talk­ing about the sport.

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