Novak Djokovic defeated Tomas Berdych 6-3 7-5 at the O2 Arena on Thursday in 1 hour and 29 minutes in the final Group Sam Smith RR match. With the win, Djokovic finishes second in his group behind Roger Federer,
Nole improved to an 80-6 match record on the season.
In the first set: Novak broke once again in the eighth game and consolidated it for 6-3 after 42 minutes.
In the second set: Nole raced out to a 2-0 lead in the second set, but Berdych would bring the set back on serve with a break of his own. However, serving at 5-all, the 30-year-old Czech was broken when a backhand sailed beyond the baseline. His opponent would close out the match in one hour and 29 minutes. Despite 10 aces and a two-for-two break-point conversion rate, Berdych was saddled with 31 unforced errors.
“”His game relies a lot on the serve,” said Djokovic. “If he doesn’t have a high first-serve percentage, I’m able to step in and take advantage of the second serve. Then he starts losing a little bit of confidence in his game. If he’s serving on a high level, he can really be a threat for anybody on any surface. I know that because I’ve had many close matches with him. Because I’ve won so many times against him, maybe there is this factor of mental edge; maybe an advantage in important moments, decisive moments where I’m able to stick around and stay tough and believe that I can actually win”.”I just waited for a game with more second-serve opportunities and that’s what happened at 5-5,” said Djokovic. “It was a solid performance, I think. We both could have done better. It’s been a long year and we did our best.”
Statistics: aces (0-8), double faults (0-2), winners (10-26), unforced errors (16-31), total points won (70-57).
Djokovic will play against Group Ilie Nastase winner Rafael Nadal at 14:00 local time (15:00 CET) on Saturday.
Looking ahead to the upcoming clash with Rafa, Novak said: “He has another match tomorrow and I will watch that with my team to try and prepare. We have played so many times – I think a couple of times on this very court. He has played great in his first couple of matches in London and hopefully I will be able to play my best. That is what is needed to beat him.”