Stanislas Wawrinka did not rise to the occasion in today’s semi-final clash against reigning champion Novak Djokovic at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals and was eliminated after suffering a straight sets defeat, whilst the second-seeded Serb will be chasing his third trophy at the year-end tournament when confronting World no. 1 Rafael Nadal on Monday evening.
The Swiss number two started the match brightly and seized an early break, but failed to consolidate it. Novak again excelled defensively against the error-prone rival who got himself into another stressful position when falling 0-30 behind at 4-3*. Stan committed 15 unforced errors by that time, whilst Nole controlled the proceedings without scoring a single winner – he made it 5-3 a few rallies later. Wawrinka – who could not get his first-serve ratio over 50% in that part of the match – nearly battled his way back into the set, yet he could not salvage the opener as Djokovic denied him a break back opportunity and produced his first ace to move one nil ahead.
The seventh-seeded Lausanne native struggled a great deal in the following set where he dropped a serve straight away and could only prevent the Serb securing a double break by successfully challenging a shot that was initially called out. Only once in the second set could he hold without facing a break point, whilst Djokovic surrendered merely two rallies on his serve. He ultimately closed out the contest by converting the fourth of his ten break point chances to grab a very convincing 6-3, 6-3 win after one hour and twenty-six minutes of tennis at the O2 Arena in London. The World no. 2 thus extended the recent winning streak to 21 matches and will try to reduce the 16-22 head-to-head deficit against Nadal tomorrow. The highest-ranked athletes have last met in the beginning of October in Beijing where Djokovic lifted the trophy after overcoming the Spaniard in straight sets.