If there is one quality that Novak Djokovic has made his own, it is his relentless approach to each and every point where he uses his extraordinary retrieval skills to stay alive in points. Yesterday at the ATP Finals, Marin Cilic had the best seat in the house to witness the Serb’s “Superpowers”.
After beating Cilic in the tie-breaker of the first set, the match still looked well poised with no one ready to give an inch. Cilic knew that he had to try and impose himself on the game from the very start of the second set and he came out all guns firing. Even though he started off with a body serve, his second shot was a huge forehand down the line, which in normal circumstances would have been a winner. But this is the second coming of Djokovic and it would be naive to assume that he would just lay down.
In typical Djokovic fashion, the Serb stretched every inch of his body and managed to return the ball with a cross-shot. Cilic was not done though. A deep backhand hit meant that the World No. 1 had to put some air on the ball which could only mean that Cilic had a chance of going for a winner on the forehand. And that is just what he looked to do with a booming down the line hit on the other side. True to his nature, Djokovic chased the ball down and with the ball almost behind him managed to put it back over the net in a place where it bounced right in front of the onrushing Croatian.
In what looked like a rally that Cilic had dominated from the off, he was suddenly reeling and his recovery shot was an average one. That is all that Djokovic needed as he rushed to the ball and managed to end a losing rally with a cross-court shot. The Serb eventually took the set 6-2 and with it the match to set up a semi-final clash against Kevin Anderson at the ATP finals in London.