LONDON (AP) - As usual, Roger Federer is looking to add to one of his many records. And as many expected, Novak Djokovic will be trying to stop him.
The top two players in the world advanced to the championship match at the ATP finals on Sunday, each looking beatable early before turning things around.
Federer, a six-time champion at the season-ending event, advanced by beating U.S. Open champion Andy Murray 7-6 (5), 6-2. The top-ranked Djokovic defeated Juan Martin del Potro 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.
"I knew that if I lose today it's the end of the season, so I gave everything I had and couldn't be more happy," Federer said on court after the match.
The ATP finals is the last tournament of the season, and Federer will face Djokovic in the final match on Monday at the O2 Arena.
"For me, I think for both of us, it's pretty straightforward," said Federer, who is 16-12 against Djokovic. "I think we've got to press out the last juice that's left in our body and make it a successful year end, even though it's been successful for everybody who has been taking part in this tournament."
Federer found himself in a hole early against Murray, losing his serve in the opening game of the match. But Murray, who lost to Federer in the Wimbledon final but beat him in the Olympic final, couldn't hang on. The 17-time Grand Slam champion broke back to even the score at 4-4, and then recovered from a 3-1 deficit in the tiebreaker to win the opening set and take control of the match.
"Basically I really tried to pull myself together in this breaker today, where I thought I didn't play great in yesterday's tiebreaker first set against Del Potro, and not being able to come back," Federer said. "Margins are small, best-of-three sets."
In the second set, Federer lost only two points on serve and broke Murray twice.
"Once he gets ahead, he's incredibly hard to stop," said Murray, who leads Federer 10-9 in head-to-head play. "He tends to play better and better when he gets up. I feel like I gave him that advantage the beginning of the second set."
Throughout the match, the packed crowd at the O2 Arena cheered loudly between points. But despite being a hometown crowd for Murray, there were plenty of hoots and hollers for Federer both from the Swiss contingent and others.