ATP World Tour Finals – Final
Night Session, 8pm local
In a fitting end to this years ATP World Tour, the World No.1 and World No.2 players face off to decide this years winner of the World Tour Finals event in London.
Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic play for the 39th time in their careers with Nadal currently leading the head to head 22-16. Nadal made it through the final with a straight sets win over Roger Federer as he extended his dominance over the six times World Tour Finals champion. He converted all four break points on offer in the 7-5 6-3 victory while saving three of the four on his own. It was a fairly straight forward victory after he finally broke for a *6-5 lead after earlier failing to hold on to a break lead.
In the second set, Nadal took charge with a break for *3-2 and finished off the match with another break to make his second final at the season ending event, both of which have been in London.
After two gruelling five set encounters earlier in the year against Stanislas Wawrinka, Djokovic had a much easier time against the Swiss with a straight sets defeat over him for the second week running after a 6-1 6-4 victory in Paris. A slow start did little to disturb Djokovic who went on to win five of the final six games in the first set after going down an early break.
The second set saw Djokovic break in the opening game and backed by his strong serving which would see him lose just two points on it, he would control the second set and the 6-3 6-3 scoreline would almost flatter Wawrinka who had to save break points in latter games to avoid being blown out.
2011 saw Djokovic dominate the matchup but the pendulum has definitely swung the other way with Nadal winning six of the last eight including three grand slam finals but none of them were on indoor hard. Djokovic won their last meeting in Beijing although given both players respective history after the US Open in recent years, it’s no surprise that Djokovic looked the stronger player.
With the court playing very slow, the advantage Djokovic perhaps has on a traditional indoor court is reduced. Djokovic won back to back in Paris and London in 2009 but they have only met once indoors since – Nadal a straight sets winner in London 2010.
There is no doubt that this will be a taxing physical affair for both men, more so as we come to the close of a lengthy season for both men. Djokovic has shown vulnerability in dropping sets to each of his round robin opponents this week and this may come back to haunt him with Nadal unlikely to let up if he gets an opening.
Prediction: Rafael Nadal in three sets