Novak Djokovic ended Roger Federer's reign as the king of the O2 Arena in a brilliant final at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London on Monday night.
Federer had won the last two titles and was looking to extend his record to seven in the tournament as a whole but he could not capitalise on good starts in both sets and went down 7-6 (8/6) 7-5 in two hours and 14 minutes.
For world number one Djokovic, who saved two set points in the second set, it was the perfect way to end another stellar season and as undefeated champion he goes home with US dollars 1,760,000 in prize money. This was Djokovic's first final in London, although he did win the title the final year the tournament was held in Shanghai in 2008.
Federer had begun sloppily against Andy Murray on Sunday before recovering to win in three sets, but he was sharp from the start against the Serbian, winning his opening service game in less than a minute.
The same could not be said for Djokovic, who started his first service game with a double fault. Remarkably Federer won the first nine points but Djokovic steadied the ship before breaking back for 3-2.
Djokovic achieved another break after a long ninth game and it left the 25-year-old serving for the set. He had a set point but he could not take it and Federer broke back when Djokovic netted a forehand.
The Serb was on the floor in the next game as he flung himself after a Federer forehand, which necessitated a patch-up from the trainer, but he recovered from 0-30 to force a tie-break. Djokovic had the first set point but Federer saved it in a remarkable rally.
Federer followed up with an errant backhand and this time Djokovic capitalised. Djokovic was on the back foot again, though, as Federer piled on the pressure at the start of the second set, and he got his break at the fourth time of asking.
The world number two kept pressing and missed a chance for a double break in the fifth game, which he was almost made to regret as Djokovic pushed for a break of his own to level at 4-4.
Federer held on and brought up two set points at 5-4 but he let the chance slip away and this time Djokovic did capitalise, a forehand into the corner too much for the champion. Djokovic eventually prevailed after driving a backhand passing shot beyond the despairing reach of his opponent on his first match point.