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By Chris Oddo | Thursday, November 19, 2015

 
Novak Djokovic London 2015

Novak Djokovic qualified for the semifinals in London with a straight-sets win over Tomas Berdych.

Photo Source: CameraSport

Novak Djokovic continued his mastery—hard court and otherwise—over longtime whipping boy Tomas Berdych in London, securing a semifinal slot and a semifinal date with surging Rafael Nadal in the process.

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Djokovic had to battle through his share of tense moments, but in each stanza he picked up steam to seal his 6-3, 7-5 victory.

With the triumph Djokovic becomes the first player to earn 80 victories in an ATP season since Rafael Nadal did so in 2008. He will face Nadal in the semifinals on Saturday in the pair’s 46th meeting. The Serb trails 22-23 lifetime versus Nadal but he has won all three of their encounters this year in straight sets (Monte-Carlo, Roland Garros, Beijing).

On Thursday Djokovic needed only a single set to qualify for the semis and he did so by notching a break in the eighth game of the opener after he had traded breaks with Berdych in the early going.

Berdych saved two break points with big serves in that eighth game but on the third break point he ambled in and attempted a swing volley off a Djokovic return and promptly netted it.

Djokovic would serve the set out and take a break lead immediately in the second set but Berdych responded to break back for 2-all.

Berdych held serve with ease in the next three games but Djokovic ramped things up in the eleventh game, racing out to 0-40 and breaking on his second break point.

He served out the match in the next game, closing affairs in one hour and 29 minutes.

Notes, Numbers, Tweets

Djokovic is bidding to win his fifth title at the ATP World Tour Finals, and he’s bidding to become the first player to win four consecutively.

The Serb improves to 21-2 vs. Berdych and 18-0 on hard courts with the win.

Berdych finishes his 2015 campaign with a record of 57-22. He won titles in Shenzhen and Stockholm as well as reaching the finals of the Monte-Carlos Masters and the semifinals at the Australian Open.

Djokovic improved to 29-5 vs. the Top-10 with his win.






 

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