Friday, June 14, 2024
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Novak rallies to subdue Berdych

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LONDON: World number one Novak Djokovic recovered from a slow start to defeat Tomas Berdych 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7/3) in his opening match at the ATP Tour Finals on Monday.

Djokovic, who joins David Ferrer at the top of Group A, has enjoyed a remarkably successful season but he had to show all his battling qualities to subdue the big-hitting Czech in over two and a half hours on court at London’s O2 Arena.

The 24-year-old Serb has enjoyed one of the greatest single seasons in tennis history after winning three Grand Slam titles and five Masters crowns during a remarkable run of 69 wins from 73 matches.

His incredible consistency has deservedly lifted him to the top of the world rankings and a second triumph at the ATP’s season finale would be a fitting way to end such a majestic campaign. He will need to improve on this inconsistent effort but his spirit is still strong judging by the gutsy way he fought back from a set down.

“Throughout most of the match he was the better player, I was just hanging in there and I managed to get the win,” Djokovic said.

“You have to be top of your game in order to win the matches in this event. I wasn’t on top of my game but I managed to take my chances.”

Djokovic, who won the Tour Finals in Shanghai in 2008, has been struggling with back and shoulder injuries since winning the US Open and was forced to withdraw from the recent Paris Masters as a result, yet he never looked like waving the white flag in the face of Berdych’s early assault. (Agencies)

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