Novak Djokovic can confirm his place in the semi finals of the World Tour Finals with a win on Tuesday evening against Milos Raonic. The pair were both winners on Sunday but it is currently Raonic rather than the No.2 seed that is topping the group.
Raonic is top due to his win in straight sets over Gael Monfils. It was an accomplished performance by the Canadian, making a mockery of injury worries after concerns of a tear saw him withdraw from Paris the week before. Raonic served 12 aces in the routine 6-3 6-4 victory, never facing a break point against a disappointing Monfils. It also means that qualifying will be in his hands regardless of what happens in this match.
Meanwhile, Djokovic didn’t do a great deal to reassure people he was back to his best and ready to take back his No.1 ranking at the end of the week. Despite Dominic Thiem doing his best to gift a first set tiebreak to Djokovic, the Austrian took what could be a vital set on his seventh set point. Djokovic was dominant in the final two sets though, dropping just two games in a destruction of his young opponent.
The most notable story from this match seemed to end up being Djokovic’s anger after losing the first set, where he hit a ball into the stands followed by a perceived overreaction in the post-match press conference. He will need to remain focused if Raonic takes his form from the opener into this one with the Canadian putting up great serving numbers against Monfils.
Raonic is under no illusions of what faces him on Tuesday evening. “It’s going to be a difficult task that I have ahead of me. I feel like I’m doing some things well. I feel like I can do some things better. I was quite proficient on returning today. I took care of my serve like I hoped to. That’s what my game depends on.” he said.
Djokovic will look to extend his record against his group members to 25-0 with a victory of Raonic and 8-0 against the Canadian. Not only has Raonic never won against Djokovic, he has barely even got close. In just one match has Raonic won a set and this year he won just 9 games across losses at Indian Wells and Madrid combined.
Prediction – Novak Djokovic in straight sets