Novak Djokovic defeated 2014 runner-up and sixth seed Kei Nishikori 6-3, 7-6(4) in semi-final action on Saturday in Madrid.
Novak broke Nishikori’s serve two times and saved 4 of 5 break points he faced during the 119-minute clash.
“I think Kei has started exceptionally well so he obviously knows what his game plan is and what he wanted to do, and he started executing very efficiently from the very first point. I knew it was going to be a tough match. Obviously he was feeling the ball very well, trying to be aggressive on every shorter ball, hitting through, and trying to finish off the points. In tie-break I think I played very solid under the circumstances, and knowing that I missed four match points I was very solid after that. I think mentally it’s good to go through these particular situations for the confidence. I’m just proud to overcome this kind of challenge. Kei did play well. No doubt about that. It was a close match,”
“When you’re playing a top player, a quality player, that will use every opening and every opportunity that he’s got to come back to the match, which happened today,” said Djokovic. “I had an easy forehand to finish off the match at 40-love, a couple of double faults and couple of good points from Kei and the break was there. I obviously should not have let that happen.”
“On the other hand, I was happy the way I handled the games after that. In tie-break I think I played very solid under the circumstances, and knowing that I missed four match points I was very solid after that. I think mentally it’s good to go through these particular situations for the confidence.” said Novak.
Statistics: aces (5-1), double faults (2-2), winners (22-30), unforced errors (18-27).
Nole will face no.2 seed Andy Murray for the trophy on Sunday (18.30 CET). Murray beat Rafael Nadal 7-5, 6-4.