Following an entertaining day of action at the Paris Bercy, world No. 1 Novak Djokovic and Japanese No. 1 Kei Nishikori will contest a rematch of their U.S. Open semi-final encounter earlier in the season – a match that saw the young Asian star topple the former champion en route to his first career Grand Slam final. The Djokovic vs Nishikori head-to-head series is tied at 2-2.
Once again, Novak Djokovic proved too much for the resurging Andy Murray and defeated the Scot 7-5, 6-2 to further cement his claim to the year-end No. 1 ranking. While the first set was a close affair, Djokovic managed to close out the victory in 1 hour and 41 minutes to reach the semi-final stage of the tournament.
“The first set was very close,” Djokovic told Sky Sports. “I had some a few break point opportunities and held my service games pretty well, then I got a crucial break at the end of the first. He was a break up in the second, but then he hit some double faults and allowed me back in. After that, I started swinging through and felt much better.”
Djokovic’s next opponent is Kei Nishikori, who reached the semi-final round with a three-set comeback win over Spain’s David Ferrer. The Japanese No. 1 defeated Ferrer 3-6, 7-6(5), 6-4 to book his spot in the year-end championships.
This marks the fifth time that these two competitors will meet on the professional tour, and will serve as a rubber match to determine who will take the lead in the head-to-head series. While Nishikori is capable of picking up the win, he is unlikely to maintain the necessary pressure to down Djokovic in Paris.
Prediction: Novak Djokovic in Three Sets