21. 11. 2015.
The defending champion needed 79 minutes to advance to Sunday’s title match as he beat no.5 seed Rafael Nadal 6-3, 6-3. They are now tied 23-23 in H2H series.
In another impressive performance on the big stage, Novak broke Rafa once in the first set and twice in the second, denying one of his greatest rivals a single break point opportunity. The 28-year-old Serbian star won 89% of points on his first serve and was 7/8 when approaching the net. He became the first player to claim 30 match wins against Top 10 opponents in a single season.
“It was a great performance from the very beginning. I was trying to be aggressive and dictate the play, and I managed to pull out my best game when it was needed the most,” Novak said. “Hopefully I can perform in the final as well as I did today.”
Nadal said: “Novak for the moment is almost unbeatable,”. “The only thing you can do is congratulate him. But things are like this today. What Novak is doing is just amazing. It is obvious that it’s true if somebody can do it, it’s him, but it’s not easy to stay at that high level four years in a row or five years in a row”. “He’s hitting amazing. The return is always amazing. This year he is serving great. And then he is able to play with no mistakes and changing directions so easy, playing so, so long. He’s doing everything good.”
“He’s hitting amazing. The return is always amazing. This year he is serving great. And then he is able to play with no mistakes and changing directions so easy, playing so, so long. He’s doing everything good.”
Does Djokovic agree with Nadal’s assessment? The Serb, who notched his eighth win in his last nine encounters against Nadal, was hesistant to embrace the “unbeatable” status.
Nole: “I don’t feel unbeatable, but it does definitely feel great when I’m playing the way I played today, when I feel like I’m dictating the pace, most of the rallies, I feel like I’m on top of my opponent,” Djokovic said. “There are days when you don’t feel great, where you have to find a way to win.
“It’s hard to say or point out something that separates me from other players. Every player has his own pros and cons. I feel like over the years I managed to improve my transition from the defense to offense. My serve has gotten better, not in terms of speed, but in terms of precision and accuracy. That was obviously one of the parts of my game that worked well today. I got more than a few free points on the first serves.
“I know I can rely well on my defence, but I also wouldn’t like necessarily to stay in the back of the court for most of the match. I know that the matches against the top rivals at this level are won when you are aggressive and when you’re taking the ball early. The first shot, serve, being aggressive and constructive in the right points, that’s what I focus on.”
Match statistics: aces (4-3), double faults (1-0), winners (24-9), unforced errors (20-11), total points won (58-41).
Nole will be looking to become the first player in history to capture four successive Barclays ATP World Tour Finals singles titles, on Sunday at 18.00 local time (19.00 CET), when he faces no.3 seed Roger Federer (21-22 H2H).