Friday, 26 November 2010
Djokovic advances to the semi final
Novak Djokovic ensured the soon-to-be-official top four players in the world will all be present in the semi-finals of the ATP World Tour Finals, after he secured the set required against Andy Roddick to set up a last-four meeting with Roger Federer.
Roddick, who had lost his opening two matches, needed to beat Djokovic in straight sets to sneak through the back door in London at the Serbian's expense, but he provided little resistance in a 6-2 6-3 defeat. Djokovic now faces Federer on Saturday evening in a repeat of their epic US Open semi-final - won by the world No. 3.
In fairness to Djokovic, it is appropriate that he will contest the latter rounds of the year-end event, having reached the quarter-finals or better of every grand slam in 2010. His best performance came at Flushing Meadows, where he was beaten in the final by Rafael Nadal, but the possibility for revenge exists as Nadal plays Andy Murray in the other semi-final.
Roddick, who finishes in the world top ten for the ninth straight year, was disappointing in Friday's defeat, suffering two breaks in a rapid opening set. A wide forehand handed Djokovic the advantage at 3-1, and then another Roddick error gift-wrapped his opponent the set and his ticket into the semi-finals.
The American entered the match with an exceptional recent record against Djokovic, leading their head-to-head 5-2, winning four on the bounce. Djokovic had only broken the big-server three times in 46 previous games on the Roddick serve, yet he needed only six games to match that tally in London.
The third break of the match handed him a 3-1 advantage in the second stanza, and the remainder of the match proved to be a procession as both men went through the motions in an anti-climactic finish to the round-robin stages.