One Saturday semifinal is set at the ATP Finals, and that’s a sizzling showing between the resurgent Rafael Nadal and World No. 1 Novak Djokovic.
Djokovic advanced to meet his rival taking care of Tomas Berdych in straight sets 6-3, 7-5. Djokovic need only a set to advance to the semifinals, but he got two as he ran he record against Berdych to 21-2.
“Rafa has another match tomorrow and I’m going to watch that a little bit with my team and prepare,” Djokovic said. “Hopefully I’ll be able to perform at my best because that’s what’s needed to win against him.”
For the first time in six appearances, Berdych finishes 0-3 in the round robin.
“It’s a bit disappointing not to have any wins here,” said Berdych. “[But] it’s not about ‘if’ or whatever impression you may have. It’s always about the result. I think tennis is about that. There is only a winner and loser, nothing in between. I think I had a slight good chance, but that’s how it is. There were quite a few mistakes in the tough moments. That decided it today.”
Earlier, Roger Federer dropped his first set after blowing a 4-1 second set lead before winning in three 7-5, 4-6, 6-4.
Federer, who struggled with his second serve all day, finishes the group 3-0 and rides into his 13th semifinal at the event.
“I enjoyed the match,” said Federer. “It wasn’t easy, but somehow I got it done. I look forward to playing him hopefully more often in the future.
Federer now awaits his semifinal opponent which will either be Stan Wawrinka or Andy Murray. The two collide tomorrow evening for the final semifinal spot.
Murray leads 8-6 but Wawrinka won the two most recently clashes back in 2013 in straight sets. Wawrinka’s also made the semifinals in both prior ATP Finals appearances.
“It’s going to be interesting for sure,” said Wawrinka of Murray. “We used to have some big battle in the past, some tough match, three sets, four sets. It’s going to be interesting how I’m going to play Friday, if I’m going to bring the positive game that I start to play today, and also how he’s going to be.”
“He’s having amazing year, No. 2 in the world. So dangerous indoor, especially at home. So we’ll see. We’ll see how he’s going to be also Friday.”
With Murray keyed on the Davis Cup final, Wawrinka acknowledged the circumstance, one he was in a year ago.
“It’s tough to say what he’s thinking,” Wawrinka said. “If he’s completely focused or not. If he’s already thinking too much about Davis Cup.
“Maybe he’s going to feel more relaxed, no pressure, go for it more, or maybe he’s not going to be completely here. We’ll know how he is. If he’s mentally not really here, then he’s a different player.
“I was 100% focused here because it was important for me, then I switched in two days.”
In the first match at 9am ET, Nadal faces countryman David Ferrer. With Ferrer eliminated and Nadal already clinched the Group win, the two will play for 200 ranking points and $167K. Nadal, though, will likely take it easy with a rested Djokovic looming Saturday at 2pm local time.
You Might Like:
Poll: Who’ll Win More Grand Slams, Andy Murray Or Stan Wawrinka?
Poll: Who’ll Win The French Open Final Between Novak Djokovic And Stan Wawrinka?
Novak Djokovic, Stan Wawrinka On Brink Of Qualifying For The ATP Semifinals
2015 ATP Finals London Seedings: Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray Will Be In Separate Groups
Teen Alexander Zverev Beats Stan Wawrinka’s For First Career ATP Title In St. Petersburg