Novak Djokovic insists he is reaching top form as battle with Andy Murray for world No1 spot intensifies

Ross McLean
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Day Five - Barclays ATP World Tour Finals
Djokovic won his third successive group match at his year's ATP World Tour Finals (Source: Getty)

Summit-chasing Novak Djokovic insists he is easing towards top gear after cranking up his bid to snatch Andy Murray’s world No1 status with his third successive victory at the ATP World Tour Finals.

Five-time winner Djokovic was already guaranteed top spot in Group B but demolished Belgium’s David Goffin, who replaced the injured Gael Monfils at the tournament, in straight sets, 6-1, 6-2. The Serbian needed just one hour and nine minutes to secure the win.

His triumph also acted as a cursory warning to Murray, who plays Swiss Stan Wawrinka at the O2 Arena on Friday afternoon and needs to at least match Djokovic’s results at the season-ending competition to stay as world No1.

“I felt most comfortable [against Goffin] of all the matches I’ve played,” said 12-time grand slam winner Djokovic. “I felt like I increased the level of the quality of tennis, so that’s a good sign.

“I was preparing to play Gael and then [on Wednesday night] I found I was going to play David. It’s hard for him to come out here, he didn’t play his best tennis.”

Defending champion Djokovic has only lost one match at the World Tour Finals since 2011 and was comfortable yesterday, aside from receiving a time violation, which the Serbian described as “completely ridiculous”.

Wimbledon finalist Milos Raonic, meanwhile, followed Djokovic’s lead and reached his ninth semi-final of the year, but first at the World Tour finals, after overpowering Austria’s Dominic Thiem 7-6 (7-5), 6-3.

Doubles duo Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares progressed to the semi-finals after dispatching Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo 6-3, 3-6, 10-6 – a victory which accrued enough rankings points to move them temporarily into the world No1 spot.