Chalkdust Chronicles: Something in the air in London as Djokovic crushes Cilic 6-1, 6-1 in his World Tour Finals opener
(November 10, 2014) LONDON – It can hardly be credited that Day 2 of the World Tour Finals would see two very one sided matches between 4 of the ATPs elite, yet the evening match was a near perfect copy of the day match.
Novak Djokovic was in devastating form with a break before even the first change of ends, and somewhat unbelievably the score-line matched Stan Wawrinka’s, in the first match, albeit a whole two minutes longer.
There was a brief flurry of hope for Marin Cilic fans when he broke Djokovic back at the start of the second set but that was to be his only game, as the Serb and two-time defending champion surged ahead once more, closing out a 6-1, 6-1 win in 56 minutes.
For Cilic, it will be his first experience of the peculiarities of this tournament: Arriving by river-boat, he could be forgiven for equating that to a sinking feeling as the good ship Cilic gave the Titanic a run for its money.
“I felt that Novak played really, really solid today. In some matches, the score just keeps running. You are sinking a lot. You are, you know, always trying to find something. But whatever you try, it’s not working.”
He continued: “I felt a little bit uncomfortable on the court, rusty.”
If Cilic was rusty, Djokovic and his team were a well-oiled machine of preparation and in therein lies the real secret of success, as Djokovic explained:
“I was preparing myself for this match. I knew already one week ago that I’m going to play Marin at 8 p.m. on Monday. My team did a good scouting. We thought about, you know, what’s the game plan. I stepped in and executed really well.
“His debut in the World Tour Finals has gotten best out of him in terms of his nerves. You could see that he didn’t feel so comfortable. Tried to use my experience playing on this stage, the stadium, which is pretty different from any other.”
Djokovic now extends his unbeaten run on indoor courts to 28 matches, and srely has the form to handle Wawrinka in the next round robin match, although given his sudden reversal in form, hopefully this will be a bit more of a match.
And all is not lost for the unlucky losers and a host of must win matches now abound.
It has been a bad start for two out of the three rookies, so will the round-robin be their friend or foe, and should we get the life-belts out?