London – The world number 1 Novak Djokovic, who already secured first place in the group, won 7-6 (9-7) and 6-2 against Marin Cilic (N.7) on Friday at the London Masters. the day before his semi-final against Kevin Anderson (N.6).
On Saturday, the other semi-final will feature Swiss Roger Federer (N.3), who also finished first in his group, in the German Alexander Zverev, qualified thanks to his victory in two sets 7-6 (7/5) , 6-3 in John Isner (N. 10) in the afternoon.
This configuration offers the prospect of a possible Sunday final prestige between Federer in pursuit of a title 100, and Djokovic, who seeks to match the record of six wins in the Masters of Helvetia.
Such a poster would be a revenge for his excellent semi-final in Paris two weeks ago, one of the most beautiful games of the season. The Serbian had won after more than three hours of play, not without being pushed to the tiebreaker in the first and third innings.
Before these possible meetings, Federer will have to face Zverev, who embodies the next generation of men's sneakers. In this generational contest, the 21-year-old will try to erase the 16-year-old Basel defeat at the Masters Pool stage just a year ago.
For his part, Djokovic will approach his meeting against Anderson in the skin of the favorite, as he seemed irresistible throughout the second half of the season. He missed his elbow surgery earlier in the year, after which he had fallen beyond the 20th place in the world: the Serbian only lost two games since July and regained his throne, also favored by Rafael Nadal's concerns.
If Anderson realizes that he is the best season of his career, punctuated by two titles in Vienna and New York, the South African remains however in seven defeats of rank against the "Djoker"including two this year, in the Wimbledon final and in Shanghai.
As if that were not enough, Djokovic was full of confidence in London, where, with three wins in three matches, he is the only player still in contention.
– 31 consecutive points –
The Serbian delivered a high-level battle to dominate Cilic who, already eliminated from the tournament, played freed. In this game, where only the ATP points and the bonus awarded to the winner were a problem, the two players suffered the first kick during the first set.
"I knew before playing that I was qualified, and that I was going to face, so it was not easy to understand that meeting, to be 100%"said Djokovic on the edge of the court after his victory."But in fact we both wanted to win from the first point".
Unbelievable, the world number one fell just two points in their match, but despite a breaking point, could not find fault in the Croatian until a tie-break. At 7-7, "Nole"was the first to score a point in the service of his opponent, to win the round in the rhythm.
His series of 31 consecutive points in his service continued up to 1-2 in the second set. While "DjokoCilic was a little less accurate, sometimes looking for too much ball length in his forehand attacks.
It was little but already far against the world number one on a big day, which broke twice and ended in his bid in the game after an hour and 35 minutes.
"I tried to use my service accurately rather than looking for speed. I had three big servers in my group, Isner, Zverev and Marin (Cilic), so I was not going to try to compete at speed, for sure"Djokovic acknowledged after the game.