Djokovic into final despite scare

Published: Saturday 15th November 2014 by The News Editor

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Novak Djokovic survived his first test of the ATP World Tour Finals from Kei Nishikori to move to within one victory of a third straight title.

No one has achieved the feat since Ivan Lendl between 1985 and 1987, and Djokovic has not lost a match at the O2 Arena since 2011.

The world number one had dropped just nine games on his way to the last four, fewer than any other player in the tournament’s history.

It looked like he would continue that dominance when he breezed through the first set but he lost his way in the second after getting annoyed with the crowd.

Nishikori had his chance to stamp his authority on the match at the start of the third but could not take it and Djokovic recovered impressively to win 6-1 3-6 6-0 and set up a final against either Roger Federer or Stan Wawrinka.

World number five Nishikori has been by far the most impressive of the debutants and he had a stunning win over Djokovic in the US Open semi-finals to look back on.

But Djokovic won easily at the Paris Masters two weeks ago and was imperious in a first set that lasted just 23 minutes.

It was so comfortable he could even afford to miss one of the simplest volleys imaginable on his first set point.

When Djokovic, who ensured he will finish the season ranked number one with victory over Tomas Berdych on Friday, made it six games in a row with a break at the start of the second set, the match looked all but over.

However, Djokovic then played a very poor game, culminating in a double fault, to present his opponent with a way back in.

The crowd, who were desperate to see a match, cheered wildly, earning a sarcastic clap from a clearly unhappy Djokovic.

The Serbian should have been angry with himself because his carelessness gave Nishikori a foothold in the match and he seized it.

Suddenly he was the one dictating rallies and his troublesome right wrist, for which he received several visits from the trainer, did not seem to be affecting him too much.

Nishikori showed what a special talent he is to move ahead in the eighth game, toying with Djokovic before drilling a forehand winner past him, and serving out the set proved no problem.

Nishikori had lost only two deciding sets this season out of 23 matches to go the distance and his overall record is the best in the Open era.

A golden chance emerged immediately with two break points but he could not take either, and Djokovic was not so charitable in the next game.

This time Nishikori could not find a way back in and Djokovic brought up his first match point with a whipping forehand winner before Nishikori double-faulted.

Published: Saturday 15th November 2014 by The News Editor

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