Novak Djokovic’s momentum continues to grow in London

World number one makes short work of Kei Nishikori at ATP World Tour Finals

Novak Djokovic reacts after beating Japan’s Kei Nishikori in London. Photograph: Getty.

Novak Djokovic reacts after beating Japan’s Kei Nishikori in London. Photograph: Getty.

 

Novak Djokovic, as expected, continues to look invincible as the season he regards as his “best ever” moves with the momentum of a runaway truck towards its conclusion in London this week.

The world number one set the tone when he opened the third successive defence of his ATP World Tour Finals title with an embarrassingly one-sided dismissal of Kei Nishikori, 6-1, 6-1 in 65 minutes on Sunday afternoon, dropping just a game in each set against the only player to take a set off him in the tournament last year.

It was the 23rd win in a row for the Serb, who has not lost since Andy Murray in Montreal then Roger Federer in Cincinnati briefly interrupted his run to the US Open title in September, his third slam of the year.

He is such a dominant favourite it would be a surprise were he not to lift the trophy again on Sunday, even in a field containing the eight best players in the world.

“I didn’t allow him to dictate the play,” the winner said about an opponent who won only 32 of the 92 points contested. “I mixed up the pace. I was feeling very comfortable on the court, feeling like I could get most of the balls back. I served efficiently. I mixed up the second serves as well. Didn’t give him really the same look twice. I always tried to change.”

Tennis history

They would be the first pairing since 2000 – when Mark Woodforde retired from the game, allowing Todd Woodbridge to continue to the summit again the following year with Jonas Bjorkman – to split up after finishing the year as the highest-ranked doubles players in the world.

There is a little way to go yet, but their 7-6, 3-6, (11-9) win over Fabio Fognini and Simone Bolelli – the first match of the tournament – set the ball rolling nicely. “That’s one down,” Murray said drily. “Try to win the next four.”

Simple. Guardian Service

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