Djokovic stays on course to retain Paris title

Sat Nov 1, 2014 3:32pm EDT
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By Julien Pretot

PARIS Nov 1 (Reuters) - World number one Novak Djokovic took a big step toward becoming the first player to retain the Paris Masters title when he saw off Japanese Kei Nishikori 6-2 6-3 on Saturday to set up a final with Milos Raonic.

Earlier, seventh-seeded Canadian Raonic qualified for his second Masters Series final by downing Czech Tomas Berdych 6-3 3-6 7-5.

"I haven't dropped a set and I feel confident about my game," Djokovic told reporters.

The Serb, who is on a 26-match winning streak indoors, was never threatened by Nishikori who beat him at the U.S. Open but lacked energy after battling for almost three hours late on Friday to dispose of David Ferrer in three sets.

Victory for Djokovic also meant he extended his lead over Roger Federer in the battle for the year-end number one spot.

He raced into a 4-1 lead and never looked back, effortlessly sending his opponent to every corner of the court.

Following an early exchange of breaks, Djokovic stole Nishikori's serve again in the sixth game of the second set and it proved enough. "It was obvious that Kei -- because of fatigue maybe finishing late last night or a little injury -- he didn't serve as well as he can," said the holder.

The big-serving Raonic, runner-up at the Montreal Masters last year, followed up his quarter-final defeat of second seed Federer by beating Berdych, the 2005 Paris champion.   Continued...

Novak Djokovic of Serbia returns a shot during his men's singles semi-final tennis match against Kei Nishikori of Japan at the Paris Masters tennis tournament at the Bercy sports hall in Paris, November 1, 2014. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier