Novak Djokovic made a winning start to the new year with a convincing victory over Rafael Nadal in the Qat ar ExxonMobil Open final. Utterly dominant, the world No.
1 summoned three break points on Nadal’s opening service game yet, after squandering the first two, prompted the Spaniard into an awry forehand to break. If there is one doubt he takes from Doha though is that he has a niggling arm injury, which he admits he has received treatment for, but downplayed its importance on Saturday.
Djokovic in straight sets. Tomic ended 2014 U.S. Open finalist Kei Nishikori’s streak of three straight semifinal appearances at Brisbane with a 6-3, 1-6, 6-3 win. “Not flawless, obviously. But I did a few good things, and I’m happy with the victory, being in the first final of the season”, said a coy Nadal. “The match is easy to analyze”, said Nadal after. Seconds later, Djokovic produced two backhand winners on Nadal’s serve before honing in on a volley to break the Spaniard in game 5 for a 4-1 lead. On a night in which he dominated in all phases of the game, Djokovic even threw in the serve-and-volley uncoiling for a slick stretched drop volley holding for 5-1. Marchenko (28), triumphed despite calling for two medical timeouts in the second set and receiving treatment on court from a physio for a back problem. Djokovic hasn’t lost a tournament since last August.
He now has a chance, for the first time in his life, to move ahead of Nadal in their career meetings, which would be just one more milestone in the current world number one’s ascension towards being crowned the best player of his generation, if not all time.
He added in his press conference:
“I have noticed that Rafa has been very aggressive on second-serve returns this week”.
The Australian, who has been criticised for poor behaviour in the past, went from 78th in the world to his current career-high previous year when he claimed a third tour title in Colombia. “It’s always a great challenge to play him on any surface in any city, the rivalry goes on”. He needs it as he will be going to defend his Australian Open title as the tournament is going to start soon in Melbourne. “So for me it’s so important to win these kind of matches”, he said.