Such was the perfection of his tennis for most of a 6-3 6-0
thrashing it is hard to argue against him crowning his year as world
number one and with a hat-trick of titles at the ATP's year-ending
The 27-year-old has conceded only five games so far at the cavernous
O2 Arena yet the arithmetic of round-robin tennis means the
seven-times grand slam champion is still not definitely assured of a
Even more bizarrely, U.S. Open champion Marin Cilic, crushed 6-3 6-1
by Czech Tomas Berdych in the day's earlier Group A match could
conceivably scrape through despite two heavy losses.
Just like his tennis Djokovic, who faces Berdych on Friday, cut
straight through a question about whether or not he gets bogged down
with the various scenarios.
"Nobody needs to tell me I need to win," he said. "That's what I try
to do. That's why I'm here. I try to win every match I play on.
That's the kind of approach I will have on Friday."
In actual fact Djokovic would go through to the semi-finals with a
three-set defeat against Berdych who at least gave himself some hope
by trouncing Cilic.
"I'm going to try to maybe win three, four games. That would be
better than the last time," a smiling Berdych, beaten 6-2 6-0 by
Djokovic in the recent Beijing final, told reporters.
Djokovic has played some epic matches against Swiss Wawrinka, most
notably at the previous two Australian Opens, beating him in five in
2013 and then losing a fifth-set decider 9-7 this year in the
World number four Wawrinka has been up and down since winning his
first grand slam title in Melbourne, but he was flying at the start
Striking the ball with ferocious power he broke Djokovic's opening
service game and then held for a 2-0 lead.
The backlash was lethal, however.
Djokovic began exploring the corners with his surgical groundstrokes
and Wawrinka was overwhelmed as he lost 20 out of 23 points in a
five-game swing that snatched the match away.
Wawrinka held serve at 2-5 but Djokovic took the opening set in the
next game and romped through the second set in 24 minutes, ending it
when he drove a forehand down the line.
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"I thought he played very well the first two games. But I wasn't
frustrated. I kept my calm. After that, it was a really amazing
performance," Djokovic said of his 29th consecutive indoor win that
leaves him one victory away from sealing the year-end world number
With eight matches down and seven remaining, the sell-out O2 crowds
are yet to see a singles match go the distance.
"It's the tournament of the best eight players in the world, people,
fans, the crowd expect to see a little bit more excitement and
longer matches," Djokovic said.
"I think that's going to change as the tournament progresses."
Berdych's defeat of Cilic was equally emphatic, although the
Croatian debutant looks spent, having managed six games so far.
Cilic never looked comfortable from the moment he dropped serve in
the first game and although he did have two break points to get back
to 4-4 in the first set, Berdych held firm and went on to dominate
the rest of the match.
It was quite a rebound for Berdych who had said he faced "mission
impossible" after an opening 6-1 6-1 loss to Wawrinka.
"I think that's the beauty of this event," he said. "One day you can
be swept from the court like I was and in two days' time you can
come up play different tennis."
American world number one doubles duo Mike and Bob Bryan also got
back to winning ways as they came from a set down to beat
Jean-Julien Roger and Horia Tecau.
(Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Stephen Wood and Toby Davis)
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