London: Roger Federer’s enduring brilliance and his sheer hatred of losing allowed him to withstand a stunning Kei Nishikori fightback and remain undefeated at the ATP World Tour Finals on Thursday.
The 34-year-old Swiss maestro was on auto-pilot when he led 4-1 in the second set, having snatched an absorbing opener, but needed every shot to eventually claw out a 7-5 4-6 6-4 victory.
Federer wins Stan Smith Group with a 100 percent record the ninth time in 14 consecutive appearances at the elite event he has won all three of his round-robin matches.
Rafael Nadal has already won the other group. Djokovic will face Rafael Nadal in Saturday’s semi-final, before Federer takes on Andy Murray or Stan Wawrinka.
The British number one and the Swiss number two will play for the remaining semi-final place at 20:00 GMT on Friday.