Novak Djokovic fate in balance after loss to Janko Tipsarevic

 

Novak Djokovic left himself needing a favour from David Ferrer to reach the
semi-finals of the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals after a 3-6 6-3 6-3 loss to
fellow Serb Janko Tipsarevic in his final group match today.

The world number one certainly played better than in his thrashing by Ferrer two days ago but he faded badly after winning the first set and will be going home unless the Spaniard beats Tomas Berdych tonight.

Bizarrely, in losing his match Djokovic may actually have increased his chances, with Ferrer now needing to beat Berdych to secure top spot in the group and therefore avoid hot favourite Roger Federer in the last four.

Djokovic described his performance against Ferrer as "terrible", and the 6-3 6-1 defeat left him with much work to do against close friend Tipsarevic.

The 27-year-old, a stand-in for Andy Murray, was already out of contention for a semi-final spot, but a first victory in four meetings with Djokovic would have provided a fine end to his best season.

However, it soon became clear this was more like the player who has dominated 2011 and Djokovic took control of the first set with a break in the fourth game.

He was moving well and hitting the ball much more crisply than he had on Wednesday, and Tipsarevic had to fight off two set points at 5-2 when the net twice came to his opponent's aid.

That earned Tipsarevic, one of the ATP Tour's most engaging figures, the support of the crowd and there was a loud cheer when he managed to hold, but Djokovic had no trouble serving it out.

The errors began to creep in at the start of the second set, though, and Tipsarevic capitalised in the sixth game when a Djokovic drop shot failed to clear the net.

The world number nine was trading blow for blow with his countryman but he could not cement the break as some amazing defence from Djokovic eventually drew the mistake from Tipsarevic.

Back came the underdog, Djokovic suddenly looking very weary, and this time he made no mistake, clinching the set at the second opportunity when the top seed sent a return well long.

That made the result of this match largely irrelevant - although not for Tipsarevic, of course - with a Berdych win later now guaranteed to send the Czech through, and Djokovic was broken again at the start of the decider.

The zip of the first set had gone out of the 24-year-old's shots and he quickly slipped three match points down on his own serve. He saved two but dumped a forehand into the net on the third to give Tipsarevic a first win at the World Tour finals.

The 27-year-old, who is going on holiday with Djokovic after the tournament, said: "I started the year ranked 49 and if anyone told me I would have finished it like this then I would have taken it in a heartbeat."

PA

BUY WIMBLEDON TICKETS

Suggested Topics
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

Set a pest to catch a pest

Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests
Mexico: A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life

The dark side of Mexico

A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life
Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde. Don't tell other victims it was theirs

Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde

Please don't tell other victims it was theirs
A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border