Barclays ATP World Tour Finals
ATP World Tour Finals Round Robin Group A Monday Nov 10
1-Novak Djokovic beat 9-Marin Cilic 6-1 6-1
4-Stanislas Wawrinka beat 7-Tomas Berdych 6-1, 6-1
Defending Champion Djokovic, Wawrinka Power Through Group A Openers
atpworldtour.com: November 10, 2014 London, England – Stan Wawrinka was at his very best Monday at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.
Wawrinka’s early season form that included titles at the Aircel Chennai Open (d. Roger-Vasselin), the Australian Open (d. Nadal) and the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters (d. Federer) — returned at The O2 in the opening round of Group A matches when the third seed required just 58 minutes to beat sixth seed Tomas Berdych 6-1, 6-1.
It marked the fewest number of games that Wawrinka had lost versus a Top 10 opponent in 34 wins. Berdych is now 0-5 in opening round-robin matches in this career. The Swiss gave Berdych little chance of working his way into their 15th FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting, losing just three of his service points in a 25-minute first set.
After two love holds in the second set, Wawrinka broke Berdych's serve in a 14-point third game en route to his 37th match win of the season. It was his seventh Top 10 win of 2014 and the first since beating his compatriot, Roger Federer, in the Monte-Carlo final.
Wawrinka’s return to form bodes well for Switzerland. The nation takes on France in the Davis Cup final in Lille next week. Berdych, who has now lost his past five matches against Wawrinka, committed 20 unforced errors and hit three double faults.
In the evening session, Novak Djokovic, who is bidding to become year-end No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Rankings for the third time, began his quest for a fourth crown at the season finale on Monday.
Djokovic remained perfect against Marin Cilic when he recorded a 6-1, 6-1 win against the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals debutant in 56 minutes during the evening session. It was his 58th match win of the season.
Djokovic came through a 10-point second game, but thereafter was rarely pressed by this year’s US Open champion, who was broken three times in the 27-minute first set.
"I felt that Novak played really, really solid today," said Cilic. "I felt a little bit uncomfortable on the court, rusty... I felt that I was not hitting it clean. That's always difficult, especially against Novak, to get away with a win when you're not playing so good."
Djokovic dropped his serve to love at 2-0 in the second set, but immediately regained his composure to improve to 11-0 lifetime against Cilic, who committed 22 unforced errors. It was Djokovic’s 16th victory against a Top 10 opponent in 2014. He is unbeaten in 11 matches at the season finale, where he is a two-time defending champion.
ATP World Tour Finals Round Robin Group B Sunday Nov 9
2-Roger Federer beat 7-Milos Raonic 6-1 7-6(0)
4-Kei Nishikori beat 5-Andy Murray 6-4 6-4
Federer Wins Group B Opener vs Raonic; Nishikori Defeats Murray in 2 Sets
barclaysatpworldtourfinals.com: November 9, 2014 London, England - Six-time former champion Roger Federer avenged his recent loss to Milos Raonic in Paris to opening his account on Sunday at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. Second seed Federer improved to a 45-11 record at the season finale with a 6-1, 7-6(o) victory over the seventh-seeded Raonic, who was making his debut at the tournament.
Federer was at his aggressive best losing just four of his service point to clinch the 25-minute set. Six of his eight winners came from his forehand. Raonic hit five aces.
The 23-year-old Canadian was forced to dig in. Dictating with his forehand he made inroads, but could not convert any of his three break point opportunities early in the second set. Although his error count was high, importantly, he kept Federer behind the baseline. Federer saved one set point at 5-6, 30/40, with an powerful serve that was unreturned.
Raonic got off to the worst possible start in the tie-break, mis-timing a forehand on the first point. Federer grew in confidence, waited for errors and ran through to complete an 89-minute victory. He is now 7-1 lifetime against Raonic and 69-11 on the year. Federer, 33, has won the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals a record six times.
In an earlier match, Kei Nishikori powered his way past Andy Murray on his Barclays ATP World Tour Finals debut on Sunday. Fourth seed Nishikori, a winner of four ATP World Tour titles in six finals this year, defeated fifth seed Murray 6-4, 6-4 in the first match of Group B play at The O2, venue of the season finale in London. It was the Japanese star’s first victory in his fourth meeting against Murray.
Nishikori overcame early nerves, saving one break point in the 10-point third game. Murray took a 3-2 lead courtesy of a Nishikori double fault, but two double faults in the next game saw the British hope get broken to love. Nishikori broke to wrap up the 47-minute opener.
Aggressive throughout, two volley errors at 4-2 in the second set cost Nishikori his serve. The break appeared to galvanise Murray, who was contesting his 77th match of the year. But Nishikori kept his nerve to break Murray to 30 in the 10th game to wrap up the encounter, which lasted one hour and 36 minutes.
Murray, who lifted three trophies in six weeks to qualify for the seventh straight year, dropped to a 58-19 match record on the season. Nishikori, this season’s US Open runner-up (l. to Cilic), controlled the majority of baseline rallies to improve to 53-12 in a career-best 12 months.