Once again, for the third consecutive year, Novak Djokovic is through to the final of the Barclays World Tour Finals in London, as he fended off a brave attack from Kei Nishikori to defeat the Japanese No. 1 in three sets.
Djokovic, who came into this match having just been crowned the year-end No. 1 player, survived a mid-match lapse in focus to rebound and close out the contest in dominant fashion in the deciding set. The match ended 6-1, 3-6, 6-0 in 1 hour and 27 minutes.
“I would say I was close,” said Nishikori. “Even though the last set was a bagel, I had a couple chances in the first couple games. The first set he played really good, too good for me. But the second set I start playing well. He got a little bit tight. I took some risks. Everything worked well in the second.
The third set in particular was a complete blowout, as Nishikori faded rapidly after nearly breaking serve early in the set. From there, the momentum shifted back to Djokovic and the Serb never looked back.
“I was fortunate because in the beginning of the third set, he had break points,” said Djokovic. “If he broke me, the match could have gone either way. I managed to find that little bit of strength and get a win today. Tomorrow is the last match of the season. Of course it’s one of the biggest tournaments in the world. This is already the biggest possible motivation. I will try to give everything I have.”
Djokovic now advances his indoor streak to 31 consecutive wins dating back to a 2012 loss to Sam Querrey at the Paris Bercy. He dropped a mere nine games in the round robin stage and lost his first set this week against Nishikori.
Djokovic will play the winner between Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka in the final.