(November 7, 2013) LONDON – The defending champion Novak Djokovic is through to the semi-finals of the ATP World Tour Finals after defeating Juan Martin Del Potro 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.
Despite perhaps a shakier start than you would expect, pulled to deuce in the opening game, Djokovic quickly got into his stride, whereas Del Potro seemed to slide more than stride on a particular section of court, numerous times.
At times the crowd (who did seem to favour Del Potro as the underdog) were treated to some breath-taking shots from Djokovic and all it took was a single break to take the first set.
As can often be the way with the tall Argentinian, he needed to be behind to get that all important push, as he started to step up the aggression and add some much needed pace to his shots, and he too just needed a single break to take the match into a decider.
The third set saw both players perhaps a little tentative, and Djokovic seemed to be happy just doing enough to defend, but where Del Potro needed to find that pace again, there was just a sense that a break was on the cards.
In a match where the single breaks of serve all came at the score of 3-2, Djokovic’s consistency won through with a winning backhand down the line.
After the match he said: “I just needed to stay tough. I saved a few breakpoints in the start of the third set. [I] had opportunities in that game on 3-2, [and] used it. I just tried to make him play.”
Djokovic was asked if it’s been a frustrating year not claiming the No. 1 ranking. “Look, you know, it’s not frustrating for me,” said the six-time major winner. “For me, actually it’s a very encouraging circumstances I am in right now the last two months. I’m playing the best tennis I think I played throughout the whole season. That’s something that I take as a positive for this moment and for obviously next season. I’m definitely feeling confident, more confident than I was a few months ago.
“And Nadal has ended as world No. 1 in 2013, and he deserves that. No question about it. He won two Grand Slams. He played the best tennis this year.”
Djokovic who is undefeated since the US Open final admitted that he has plenty of motivation since his Flushing Meadow’s loss.
“I cannot complain. There is plenty of motivation. As long as it’s like that, I’ll be pushing myself every day to work hard and hope that that work will pay off on the court.
“I did lose two big matches, finals of Wimbledon and US Open, and the one in semifinals of French Open was probably the toughest loss of the year. But that’s sport. You cannot win all the matches. The most important thing is that when you’re down, you stand up and you become stronger.
“That’s kind of a motto that I have.”
Tennis Panorama News is in London covering the ATP World Tour Finals. Follow our twitter updates from the tournament @TennisNewsTPN.
ATP World Tour Finals
November 7, 2013 Results
Singles – Group B Round Robin
 N Djokovic (SRB) d  J del Potro (ARG) 63 36 63
 R Federer (SUI) d  R Gasquet (FRA) 64 63
Doubles – Group A Round Robin
 B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) d  A Qureshi (PAK) / J Rojer (NED) 76(3) 16 14-12 – saved 1 M.P.
 I Dodig (CRO) / M Melo (BRA) d  M Fyrstenberg (POL) / M Matkowski (POL) 63 36 10-2