Rafael Nadal comfortably defeats Novak Djokovic
Rafael Nadal defeated Novak Djokovic in straight-sets, 7-5, 6-2, in the second Group A singles match on Thursday November 24 at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals
in London. Nadal now sits atop Group A with a 2-0 record at the year-end tournament, an improvement on last year’s result where he failed to win a match in the round robin.
On Tuesday November 23, Nadal was presented with the Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award, on top of his trophy for finishing the year as the number one player on
the ATP World Tour.
Nadal had a fantastic year in 2010, due in part to his winning Roland Garros, Wimbledon and for the first time in his career the U.S. Open. However, in his opening
round win against Andy Roddick he looked rusty. Against Djokovic today he brought his best game to the court. Nadal served six aces, without double faulting, while saving four of the five break points he faced, converting four of eight break point opportunities
himself. After a tight first set, Nadal upped his level, and was able to take the second set 6-2, without much difficulty. Nadal is set to face Tomas Berdych on Friday November 26, which will signal the end to the group stage of the tournament and determine
the four players who earned semi-final berths.
"It was a very good match for me," Nadal said. "I'm very sorry for Novak. I wish him all the best for his eyes. This was my best match in London. The first 10 games
were very level but I'm just very happy with the two victories."
This result is disappointing for Djokovic, who could have been the first player to qualify for the semi-finals. After spending almost two hours with Nadal on court,
Djokovic must now regroup and look ahead to his next match against Andy Roddick. Roddick lost earlier in the day to Tomas Berdych in straight sets, and sits at the bottom of Group A with a 0-2 record. Roddick, who has qualified for the year-end tournament
an impressive eight years in a row, will be looking to avoid 2010 with three consecutive losses.
Thursday November 25 the semi-final berths for Group B will be decided, with Roger Federer set to take on Swede Robin Soderling, in a rematch of their quater-final
match at Roland Garros earlier this year, which the Swede won in four sets. The second match of the day will feature Andy Murray and David Ferrer.