Saturday 7 December 2019

Tennis - Djokovic shows his class to steamroll Wawrinka

Novak Djokovic of Serbia returns the ball to Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland
Novak Djokovic of Serbia returns the ball to Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland

Eleanor Crooks

Ruthless World No. 1 Novak Djokovic thrashed Stanislas Wawrinka 6-3, 6-0 as he closed in on a stunning climax to his season at the ATP World Tour Finals.

The Serb responded to losing the first two games to steamroll the Swiss who was unfortunate to meet the defending champion at his imperious best.

Djokovic tops Group A with two wins and is now poised to qualify for the semi-finals.

The two-time defending champion will need a set against Tomas Berdych tomorrow to be sure, while US Open champion Marin Cilic is not out of the reckoning despite a 6-3 6-1 thumping by Berdych earlier.

Berdych rebounded from his opening match defeat to Wawrinka with a 6-3, 6-1 victory over disappointing Cilic who has so far managed to collect only six games at the elite year-ender.

All eight round-robin matches in the O2 Arena have so far been decided in straight sets, a theme continued by Berdych.

Meanwhile, Andy Murray is hoping to emulate coach Amelie Mauresmo after keeping his semi-final hopes alive with victory over Milos Raonic. Roger Federer's win against Kei Nishikori on Tuesday meant Murray knew he had to match that to avoid early elimination.

And he did just that, the 6-3 7-5 triumph meaning all scenarios in Group B are still possible heading into the final round of matches today.

Murray could beat Federer and still go out depending on the score between Raonic and Nishikori, but equally a loss for Murray would not necessarily eliminate him.

Sunday's defeat by Nishikori had left Murray in a bad position but he took heart from discussions with Mauresmo. "Amelie was saying, I'm pretty sure it was one of the times she made the final of the (WTA) year-end championships, she lost her first match 6-2 6-2 against (Nadia) Petrova," said the Scot.

"She obviously wasn't feeling great. Then she went on to reach the final. It's nice to have those sort of discussions, having someone that's experienced having been in a tough situation after the first match.

"I was going in knowing that if I lost the match, I was out. It kind of didn't really feel like a round robin any more. It was more like a knock-out."

Federer only needs a set against Murray to secure his spot in the semi-finals.

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