Djokovic begins O2 title defence in brutal fashion

 
Ross McLean
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World No1 Novak Djokovic extended his unbeaten run indoors to 28 matches last night
RUTHLESS top seed Novak Djokovic cited an ability to counteract his rival’s service game as the principal reason for victory after destroying Marin Cilic at the ATP World Tour Finals at the O2 Arena last night.

A merciless Djokovic brutally dismantled the reigning US Open champion and tournament debutant 6-1, 6-1 in just 56 minutes, producing a carbon copy of Swiss star Stan Wawrinka’s success over Tomas Berdych earlier in the day.

World No1 Djokovic is aiming to becomes the first man since Ivan Lendl (1985-87) to win the season-ending event three times in succession and looked in ominous form as he extended his unbeaten run indoors to 28 matches.

“It was a great match,” said Djokovic. “Marin is a US Open winner just a few months ago and has a lot of confidence but I managed to neutralise his serve and managed to get a lot of balls back in play and that was part of the tactics.

“I’m not guessing. Most of the time it is the practice which makes it perfect and a lot of hours spent on court trying to get my game, my anticipation and my return to the level that I want.

“Those are elements in the game that I can rely on always and, for sure, it is very useful when you’re playing a big server.”

Djokovic joins Wawrinka at the top of Group A, with the Australian Open champion recording a crushing 6-1, 6-1 defeat of Berdych in another one-sided clash which also failed to last an hour.

Berdych said: “Unfortunately, it was my worst match of the whole season. My game is about hitting the ball nice and clean, then you can create something but at the beginning I didn’t have that at all. I hit so many frames.”

ORDER OF PLAY

Today’s schedule
■ Roger Federer [2] (SWI) v Kei Nishikori [5] (JPN). Not before 2pm
■ Andy Murray [6] (GBR) v Milos Raonic [8] (CZE). Not before 8pm

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