Saturday, November 21, 2015 5:02 pm
Novak Djokovic has reached a fourth consecutive final at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, defeating rival Rafael Nadal 6-3, 6-3 in 79 minutes on Saturday.
It was a record 46th encounter in their storied careers.
Three-time defending champion Djokovic will look to retain his crown when he faces either Roger Federer or Stan Wawrinka on Sunday, in what will be his 85th tour-level final. With his consecutive finals reached streak up to 15 tournaments, the Serb is seeking to hoist his 11th trophy of 2015 – a career high in a single season.
Djokovic was on the attack immediately against Nadal’s own serve, pouncing on a short second serve for a return winner in the very first point and breaking to love for a quick 2-0 lead. The Belgrade native struck 12 winners and just one unforced error through the first three games. Djokovic was in control at the baseline, dictating play on his own terms and most importantly refusing to yield an inch on his own serve, claiming 20 of 27 points. With football legend David Beckham in attendance, he wrapped up an efficient opening set in 34 minutes.
Patterns persisted in the second set, with Djokovic using his agility to stand tall on the baseline and he would break for 3-2 after a 25-shot rally. The Serb launched a backhand winner down-the-line on the run to give him his first match point at 5-3 and he would capitalise with another backhand winner – this time going cross-court. In total, he won 89 per cent of first serve points and launched 24 winners. The top seed converted on three of five break points without facing one on his serve.
The last time the pair met was in the China Open final, with Djokovic notching his sixth Beijing title 6-2, 6-2. With Saturday’s win, Djokovic drew level at 23-23 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series. They hold the record for the most meetings between two players in the Open Era. The Serb is now 8-1 against the Spaniard since the 2013 US Open.