In their 2012 final (YouTube), Federer was close to win both losing sets:
– in the 1st set he led 3:0* (winning the nine initial points) & 6:5* (30/0)
– in the 2nd set wasted a break point at 3:1, then a double set point serving at 5:4
They met at the round robin stage in 2013 and the Serb won 6-4, 6-7(2), 6-2 in the opening match.
Federer  didn’t enter the 2014 final due to back pain – it’s the first walkover in the tournament history as far as the semifinals/finals are concerned (the first one in an ATP final since 2008). In an exhibition set which was played instead of the final, Djokovic  beat Murray 8-5. The Serb had guaranteed No. 1 in the world in the end of the season already winning his last ’round robin’ match against Berdych.
Djokovic’s route to the titles:
rr Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-6(4), 6-3
rr Andy Murray 4-6, 6-3, 7-5
rr Tomas Berdych 6-2, 7-6(6)
S Juan Martin del Potro 4-6, 6-3, 6-2
W Roger Federer 7-6(6), 7-5
rr Marin Cilic 6-1, 6-1
rr Stan Wawrinka 6-3, 6-0
rr Tomas Berdych 6-2, 6-2
S Kei Nishikori 6-1, 3-6, 6-0
W Roger Federer w/o
Federer said: “Unfortunately I’m not match fit to play match tonight. Clearly I wish it wasn’t this way. You try all year to be ready for the ATP World Tour Finals and I didn’t want to end this way. I tried everything I could last night and today – painkillers, rest – until the very end, but I can’t compete at this level with Novak. In a final like this and at my age, it would be too risky. I hope you understand.”
Djokovic: “I don’t think he was calculating and trying to save his body for Davis Cup final. I’m sure that that wasn’t the case. This is probably one of the biggest matches of the year for him, as well as for me.”
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