Paris Masters: Novak Djokovic keeps up the pressure on Rafael Nadal for World No 1 spot
When Rafael Nadal beat Novak Djokovic in the US Open final eight weeks ago it seemed inevitable that the 27-year-old Spaniard would end the year as world No 1. Nadal has indeed reclaimed top spot in the rankings from his rival, but Djokovic is ensuring that the race will go to the wire. The Serb won his third tournament in a row on Sunday when he beat David Ferrer 7-5, 7-5 to win the Paris Masters and keep alive his chances of finishing No 1 for the third year in a row.
Djokovic comes to this week’s Barclays ATP World Tour Finals knowing that he can return to the top if he successfully defends his London title, then leads Serbia to Davis Cup triumph against the Czech Republic – provided Nadal does not win more than one match this week. Although the latter scenario might seem unlikely, Nadal has faltered in recent weeks.
Since losing to Nadal in New York Djokovic has won 17 matches in a row, lifting the titles in Beijing, Shanghai and Paris. However he admitted after yesterday’s hard-fought victory over Ferrer, who was a break up in both sets, that he was feeling the effects of a long season.
“Physically I didn’t feel as good today, but in important moments, I managed to overcome the challenge,” he said. “But it’s not just me who is tired and has played many matches. All of the top players have had long seasons. You just have to try to find the strength, find a way to recover.
“I am definitely playing my best tennis this year, including the start of the year with the Australian Open and Dubai, when I had a great run. The summer was up and down, and now I’m on a very high level, even though it’s going to be three weeks now in a row for me: Paris, London, and the Davis Cup final.”
Italy brush aside Russia to win Fed Cup
Italy won a fourth Federation Cup title with a 4-0 victory over a badly under-strength Russian side as world No 7 Sara Errani cruised past Alisa Kleybanova before Flavia Pennetta and Karin Knapp won the dead doubles rubber in Cagliari yesterday.
It took Errani less than an hour to win 6-1, 6-1 against the No 183-ranked Kleybanova, who has only recently returned to the circuit following treatment for Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Pennetta and Knapp then saw off Margarita Gasparyan and Irina Khromacheva. “It’s down to a marvellous team and above all the fact we are always united,” Errani said. “We are very happy.”
Dan Hardy column: Is the hype around UFC sensation Conor McGregor justified?
Humiliated Brazil look to continue recovery at Arsenal
Zlatan Ibrahimovic scores ridiculous headed goal after blocking Moldova goalkeeper's clearance
England vs Lithuania match report: Harry Kane fires in first Three Lions goal just 78 seconds into debut to put icing on the cake
'God, she's beautiful': Embarrassment for basketball player Nigel Hayes after microphone picks up comment about female reporter
- 1 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 2 Watch: Man takes selfie every mile of 2,600 mile hike, creates amazing timelapse video
- 3 The day I starred in Only Fools and Horses
- 4 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
- 5 Scientists have discovered a simple way to cook rice that dramatically cuts the calories
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Revealed: Putin's army of pro-Kremlin bloggers
Germanwings plane crash: Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz wanted to 'do something people would remember him for'
Andreas Lubitz: Knee-jerk reaction to 9/11 enabled mass murder