Novak Djokovic answered his critics in resounding fashion, reacting to losing the world no.1 ranking to Rafael Nadal in a true champion like manner, comprehensively thumping the Spanish superstar 6-3, 6-4 to win the China Open.
In a surprisingly one sided contest, the Serb was clinical in all aspects of his play, winning the match in just 87 minutes courtesy early breaks in both sets.
Nadal never really found his rhythm and failed to have any answer to Djokovic's serve which was on top form today. Djokovic lost just 6 points on his serve all match with the quicker courts in Beijing suiting his game perfectly.
The Canadian Davis Cup team was defeated 3-2 by Serbia in their Davis Cup World Group semifinal on Sunday at the Belgrade Arena in Belgrade, Serbia. Entering the day leading 2-1 after a thrilling five-set doubles victory on Saturday, Canada needed just one victory in the final two singles matches to clinch the tie. However, world No. 1 Novak Djokovic defeated Milos Raonic 7-6(1), 6-2, 6-2 in the first match of the day to force a deciding fifth rubber where Vasek Pospisil fell to world No. 21 Janko Tipsarevic 7-6(3), 6-2, 7-6(6).
Raonic started the day against Djokovic with a very tight first set. After swapping breaks early, it went to a tiebreak where the world No. 1 picked up his game and captured the tiebreak by winning 7 of 8 points after 61 minutes of play. From there, it was all Djokovic as Raonic fought for every point, but his opponent was just too good, proving why he’s the top-ranked player in the world and winning the next two sets in an hour and seven minutes. The loss represents Raonic’s first in Davis Cup singles since falling to Amir Weintraub in the 2011 World Group play-off against Israel. He had been 8-0 in his last five ties, including Friday’s victory over Tipsarevic.
The Canadian Davis Cup team leads Serbia 2-1 after the second day of play in their Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group semifinal taking place on indoor clay at the Belgrade Arena in Belgrade, Serbia. After a dramatic five-set win by Milos Raonic evened the tie at 1-1 late on Friday, the pair of Daniel Nestor and Vasek Pospisil put Canada one step closer to victory with a dramatic win of their own on Saturday by defeating Serbian duo Nenad Zimonjic and Ilija Bozoljac 6-7(6), 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(5), 10-8.
The match was tight from the start, with the teams swapping breaks to send it to a tiebreak. The Canadians had three set points in the tiebreak but the Serbians won five straight points to take the first set. Nestor then fought off two break points early in the second set and Canada went on to break their opponents in the next game to take a 3-2 lead. They held for the rest of the set to even the score.
The Davis Cup by BNP Paribas semifinal tie between Canada and Serbia is tied 1-1 after the first day of play. World No. 1 Novak Djokovic started the tie strong for Serbia defeating Canada’s Vasek Pospisil 6-2, 6-0, 6-4 but world No. 11 Milos Raonic evened the score with a thrilling 5-7, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 10-8 win over Janko Tipsarevic. The tie is being played on an indoor clay court at the Belgrade Arena in Belgrade, Serbia.
Pospisil was in tough from the beginning against the top-ranked Djokovic. After starting the first set on serve 2-2, Djokovic went on to win 10 straight games to capture the first two sets. Pospisil calmed down for the third set but not before Djokovic got the one break of serve he needed to win the match.
World No. 1 Novak Djokovic will be one of 27 players to receive the Davis Cup Commitment Award during this weekend’s Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group and zone group ties on Saturday 14 September. The presentations are being made by the ITF through its National Associations.
This new award was conceived as part of the ITF’s 2013 Centenary celebrations, and will be presented to Davis Cup players who have shown long-standing dedication to representing their country in this prestigious competition. Each award recipient will have competed in a minimum of 20 home-and-away ties or 50 ties at any level of the competition (including week-long zone group events) over their career.
Pre-tournament favourite, Rafael Nadal, lived up to his billing and stretched his incredible record on hard courts this year to 22-0, winning his second Grand Slam title of the year and his second US Open crown on Monday night. The irrepressible Nadal beat world no.1 Novak Djokovic 6-2, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 in a lopsided contest that for the first 2 hours and a bit looked like it could swing either way.
Nadal has had an incredible run on the American hard courts since his early exit from Wimbledon, and despite being lower ranked than Djokovic, was the slender favourite coming into Monday's title decider, having beaten the 26 year old Serb 21 times in their 36 career meetings. However, perhaps most crucially Nadal has looked better than ever on the hard courts these past few weeks, having switched from being the behind the baseline counter puncher to an aggressive finish the points early Nadal - one who was taking his opportunities to move forward and finish points quickly at the net.
On revamped super Saturday, the world’s highest ranked men staved off challenges of considerably varying natures to advance to the final of the 2013 US Open. Djokovic and Nadal will get a chance to reprise their rivalry for a 37th time on Monday following contrasting scorelines in their respective semifinals. Novak Djokovic had to battle through a 4 hour 9 minute slugfest against an inspired Stanislas Wawrinka 2-6, 7-6(4), 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 while Rafael Nadal cruised past a defiant but underwhelming Richard Gasquet 6-4, 7-6(1), 6-2 in two hours twenty minutes.
In many ways the semifinals were a battle of the heavyweights against the middle weights and it certainly played out that way between Nadal and Gasquet. Gasquet cut and thrust like a fencer, but the bullish Nadal kept landing the big blows to keep the Frenchman’s challenge at arm’s length. In the first semifinal though, Wawrinka certainly tore up the script and took on the role of heavyweight himself. Going toe to toe with the World No.1 he pushed him to the hilt and it took all of Djokovic’s exceptional ability to extricate himself from adversity to finally prevail.