In primetime at the O2 Arena, it was Novak Djokovic facing off against Tomas Berdych for the final spot in the semifinals from the Stan Smith Group at the ATP World Tour Finals. Djokovic already had a win under his belt, destroying Kei Nishikori but looked out of sorts against Roger Federer. Berdych on the other hand had yet to pick up a victory and only won a single set which was against Nishikori.
With Federer picking up a three sets win earlier in the day, Berdych needed to win in straight sets to advance to the semifinals. A win in three sets or any type of victory for the Serb would’ve seen the Serb go through in second place. The world number one looked lethargic at times but managed to pull out a 6-3, 7-5 win to book himself a spot in the semifinals against Rafael Nadal.
Djokovic Books Date With Nadal
Berdych knew he had to give it his all since he needed a straight wins to advance. With two career wins under his belt over the world number one, this was going to be a large task. He didn’t make things easy on himself, dropping the first eight points to fall down 0-2. The world number six needed to change his gameplan and did just that as he went for broke in the third game. A wonderful backhand down the line gave him a 15-30 lead, but Djokovic was able to bring it back to deuce. A couple of uncharacteristic errors from the 10-time Grand Slam champion gave the break right back. Two aces in the fourth game helped Berdych consolidate to put himself right back in the match.
After a topsy-turvy first four games, order was restored with a couple of service holds. Djokovic earned the vital break in the eighth game. The heroics from the Czech were not enough as he fended off two break points but succumbed to the third. Djokovic booked his spot in the semis with a hold at 30 as all Berdych could do was play for pride.
Berdych Keeps It Close But Djokovic Takes It In Straights
Things looked like they took a turn for the worst for the world number six as he was broken to open the second with Djokovic consolidating right after. But just like the first though, Berdych was able to take advantage of the Serb being unable to fire on all cylinders to break right back.
Both players enjoyed comfortable service games until the ultimate break in the 11th game. A brilliant cross-court backhand return dented the Czech’s confidence and a double fault made things worse for Berdych. An error from Berdych gave the Serb the break, and he served it out to 15 to notch his 80th win of the season.