LONDON, November 19, 2016
There will be the highly expected exciting fishish to year-end No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Rankings between Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic, as the latter followed the Briton in the title match of the ATP World Tour Finals on Saturday night.
Whereas Murray did it the hard way, Djokovic cruised past Kei Nishikori, winning 6-1, 6-1. The 29-year-old Serbian converted six of his 11 break point opportunities to celebrate his 11th match win over the fifth seed from Japan in only 66 minutes of play.
“The best performance of the tournament came really at the right time. Everything kind of clicked together tonight. I felt really well. I started with a great pace, great concentration, dictating the play, mixing up the pace. Everything was going well. I enjoyed myself,” Djokovic was pleased with his performance.
“On the other hand, you know, Kei was not obviously close to his best. The fact that he played late last night, it’s been a long year for him, long tournament, so he was probably a little bit tired. Nevertheless, I tried to make myself present on the court, make him feel that I’m playing till the last shot, which I did. Even 6-1, 5-1, I was really committed. All in all it was a really good performance. I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s final.”
Murray and Djokovic will meet for the 35th time with the Serbian leading 24-10 in head-to-head records. For the first time in the history of the ATP World Tour Finals, the year-end No. 1 ranking will be determined in the Championships match of the season finale.
“The results, I can’t predict. I can’t expect anything except to really get myself in the right state of mind and try to perform as well as I did tonight. That’s going to be my only goal. Other than that, I must say that I’m very honored to be part of the history. I hear this is the first time in the history of the ATP that the two best players are deciding the rankings in the last match. That is something we should all be conscious of. I’m excited to go out on the court and battle,” the World No. 2 stated.
Djokovic is attempting to finish No. 1 for the third straight year and fifth time in six years.
“As I said at the beginning of this tournament, concerning the rankings situation, I actually have things in my hands. I don’t need to depend on anybody else. That’s all I’ve been focusing on, to be honest, really building my game, getting myself to a higher level, quality level of tennis in each match. As I progress through the tournament, that’s what’s happening. Hopefully I’ll be able to stick with it and perform as well as I did in last couple of matches tomorrow.” The showdown will start on Sunday at 6pm local time.