Djokovic just can’t be beat indoors

Djokovic recalled his roots

Djokovic reaches ATP Finals final against Fed.

LONDON – Novak Djokovic loves indoors, perhaps because when he was a little kid he went up into the mountains and exercised long and hard. He raced down the snow, and let us forget, he could strike tennis balls, even if he was freezing.

The Serbian will win outdoors, but on a streak, he is even better indoors.

This week in London, it wasn’t very cold or wet. In fact, in the middle of November, it’s been positively respectable, rubbing your hands to keep them dry, and loosing up your fingers and squeezing them oh-so-tight.

In Saturday, Djokovic beat Kei Nishikori 6-1, 3-6, 6-0 to advance to the final. Djokovic has now won 31 matches indoors, which is pretty fair considering that the man isn’t super tall, or a huge server that will goes for ace after ace. No, that is not it. He is willing to play super-fast courts or slow ones. He can kiss the lines on his first serve, jump inside the baselines with his forehand and backhands, or retrieve falling back. He’s got that type of diverse skills.The No.1 makes it on his terms.

Nishikori stunned Djokovic in the semis of the US Open, but this time around, he said that he wouldn’t miss. He wouldn’t go to crazy early, and wouldn’t be too passive.

“The conditions indoor and outdoor, where I lost to him in US Open, are quite different,” Djokovic. “I’m feeling pretty confident playing now, as well as he. So it’s going to be a good, high‑class tennis.”

Djokovic started the match very well as he knows both of them are both extremely fast. Still, both have to put plant on their feet. He was pretty predictable with his backhand crosscourt, which allowed Djokovic to sleight down the line. The 25-year-old Nishikori looked unsure of himself and there was no way he had a real chance if he could not get early but lost the first set 6-1.

In the second, US Open finalist got it together, leapt around, took his chances and finally grabbed a break. When Djokovic rushed the net, Nishikori went backwards. The Serbian could only nudge an overhead and the Japanese wailed a forehand winner. He broke at 5-3 and held to grab the set 6-3. It looked like they were going to have an excellent contest in the third.

But, no … Nishikori folded, oh so quickly. The younger kid had a huge shot at breaking in the first game of the third set, with Djokovic serving at 15-40. He had a two big chances but he couldn’t deliver: he missed a forehand and then his backhand under-cooked. Djokovic took a deep breath and then ran over him, 6-0 in the third.

Nishikori had a chance to finish the year ranked No. 4, but will stay No. 5. He has had a very good year, but he is not ready to break into the top 4 yet.

“The second set I start playing well,” Nishikori said. “He got little bit tight. I took some risk. Everything worked well in the second. I was playing well. Even first couple points in third set, I thought I had it. I think I start thinking too much about he’s No. 1 player, Novak. I think I risked too much. I think I did too many unforced errors first couple games. Then he start playing better. It’s very disappointing because I think, if I little bit change, I could be I think little more closer in the third set.”

Djokovic was apparently upset that a few of the fans nearby were yelling for Nishikori and he lost his head for a little while. He regained his composure and raced ahead to win the contest, but when he finished he wrote on a camera lens that he stuck it to them.

This was indoors and Djokovic wants to be the top dog all the time, even after a win.

“It was my fault that I allowed it,” Djokovic said. “I cannot blame the crowd. The crowd has a right to do what they want, to cheer for whoever they want. Some individuals that were going over the line throughout the whole match, some provocations that I usually don’t react on, but I did. It was my fault. I lost the concentration. I lost the break because of that. I allowed myself to be in the situation to lose the set, maybe even lose the match. So generally it was my fault and I should know better.”

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