Djokovic halts Nishikori fightback to reach London final
By Martyn Herman
LONDON (Reuters) - World number one Novak Djokovic ended Kei Nishikori's impressive debut at the ATP World Tour Finals with a 6-1 3-6 6-0 semi-final victory at the O2 Arena on Saturday.
The Serb was rattled by a mid-match onslaught from the Japanese who came back from a poor start to dominate the second set, only for his challenge to fizzle out in the decider.
Things could have been different had Nishikori, the first Asian man to qualify for the year-ender, converted the two break points he had in the first game of the deciding set.
But Djokovic held firm and quickly regained control to march toward a 31st consecutive victory on indoor courts.
He set up a match point with a searing crosscourt forehand winner and U.S. Open runner-up Nishikori double-faulted to end the contest after one hour 27 minutes.
"Kei was playing great and this has been the best season of his life but he made some crucial double faults in the third set," seven-times grand slam champion Djokovic said.
"Of course I will watch the semi-final (between Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka). I'll get some popcorn and enjoy it from my bed."
Djokovic had gone through the group stage with wins against Marin Cilic, Stanislas Wawrinka and Tomas Berdych for the loss of a mere nine games, a tournament record. Continued...