Defending champion Novak Djokovic completed a treble of ATP World Tour Finals titles by overcoming top-ranked Rafael Nadal in straight sets. The Spaniard – who missed the last year’s event due to knee injury – was playing his second season finale championship match after 2010, whilst Nole also lifted the trophy in 2008. Both players made it through the round-robin stage in London without a scratch and did not surrender a set in the semis.
The second seed Serb was out of the blocks quickly in the opener where he rushed to 0-40 during Rafa’s initial service game and while the latter chased down a drop shot to rescue the first break point, he then netted a backhand to lose the serve. Novak was one rally away from doubling the lead in the fourth game, but three consecutive misses followed and the World no. 1 finally got on the board. Nadal used the slight momentum shift and converted on the third break point in the subsequent game after Djokovic failed to return a penetrating slice shot. The Spaniard consolidated the break to make it 3-all, but then gifted the archrival another chance to steal his serve as he conceded two double faults in the eighth game. The highlight of the match would follow with Nole pulling off an incredible lob before winning a battle at the net. He served out the set in style by scoring his second ace.
Djokovic brought his good form into the set number two and again broke the deadlock early on as Nadal paid a price of committing a string of errors at 1-1 and could not climb out of a 0-40 hole. The Serb kept dictating the terms and almost broke Rafa on a couple of more occasions, yet the Spaniard found enough world-class responses to keep hoping for a comeback, saving a match point on his serve at 5-3 in the process. However, Novak would not let the title slip out of his hands and came up with the third championship point after the sixth ace and could start celebrating a well-deserved 6-3, 6-4 triumph after the last of Nadal’s attacks ended in a narrow backhand miss. The 26-year-old Belgrade native thus extended his recent winning streak to 22 matches and reduced the head-to-head deficit against his biggest rival to 17-22. The king of clay, who reclaimed top spot in the ATP Rankings a month ago, is yet to conquer the World Tour Finals. He did not hit a single ace in one hour and thirty-seven minutes of play at the O2 Arena and faced eleven break point threats over the course of today’s final.