• ATP World Tour Finals

Djokovic dispatches Wawrinka to progress to final

Ismail Vedat at the O2
November 10, 2013 « Vidic taken to hospital - Moyes | Chartbeat test »
Novak Djokovic is looking to retain the title © Getty Images
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Novak Djokovic will face Rafael Nadal for the right to become this year's ATP World Tour Finals champion after he put an end to Stanislas Wawrinka's debut run in the semi-finals.

The defending champion is looking to win the season-finale for the third time in his career, and will face Nadal after defeating tournament-debutant Wawrinka 6-3 6-3.

The Verdict

  • Roger Federer said after his defeat to Novak Djokovic that the Serb was the best defensive player in the game right now, and how right the great man was.
  • On numerous occasions in his win over Stanislas Wawrinka, Djokovic battled for every point, and ultimately it was his defensive display at the end of the opening set which saw him mentally secure victory over Wawrinka.
  • Coming into the match Djokovic had collected 13 straight wins over the Swiss, and Stan did not play with the belief that he could put an end to that losing streak, which was summed up in the point that enabled Djokovic to break in the first set, and consequently break Wawrinka's heart.
  • After the desperation to cling on in the point at the back of the court, Djokovic clinically crossed the finishing line, reducing the number of unforced errors from 45 last night against Richard Gasquet to just 14 tonight to set up a showdown with Rafael Nadal in tomorrow's final.

In claiming the victory, Djokovic heads into the final on the back of a 21-match win streak, and will face off against the last man to beat him, which was Nadal back at the US Open.

From 0-30, Djokovic won four straight points to avoid dropping serve in the opening game of the match. However, Wawrinka broke the Serb to move 2-1 in front with some fine all-round play.

As the saying goes, a break is not a break unless you hold, and Wawrinka was guilty of handing the advantage he worked hard for back to his opponent. The Swiss hit a couple of wayward forehands, and Djokovic was quickly back on level terms.

After going 4-3 in front, Djokovic demonstrated why he is the best defensive player on tour with some unbelievable scrambling in the eighth game. It was a point he should never have won, as Wawrinka was in control of the rally, but he failed to finish Djokovic off, and a crucial break was secured for the Serb - with Wawrinka smashing the ball high into the giant screen above the court in the arena in frustration for slipping up.

Wawrinka had one break-back point to stay alive in the first set, but Djokovic with a superb kick-serve out wide fended it off en route to taking the set.

Yet again the defensive qualities of Djokovic were conveyed as he broke Wawrinka in the first game of the second set to race into a 2-0 lead.

Wawrinka began to struggle, but managed to stay with Djokovic in his following two service games by saving break points to trail 3-2. Djokovic though was not to be denied as he maintained the break throughout the set to seal his place in Monday night's final.

On the encounter against Nadal, Djokovic said: "Whenever we play each other, it's a huge challenge and we want to win. Of course, there are no clear favourites in the final. It's expected that we will go the distance, so let the better man win."

Wawrinka was left to reflect on his missed opportunity in the opening set. "One break isn't enough, especially at the beginning," he said. "I had the feeling that I was playing well, but I didn't have enough energy today, and against him that's a big difference."

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