'Novak Djokovic Is Something Else, And I Faced Roger Federer,' Former Ace Recalls

«Novak Djokovic is something else, and I faced Roger Federer», remembers the former ace


Novak Djokovic clinched his fifth consecutive China Open crown at Beijing 2014 by beating Tomas Berdych 6-0, 6-2 in 67 minutes. Novak played at a high level from start to finish and had match point at 6-0, 5-0 after less than an hour, coming within a point of a double bagel!

Tomas saved it and won two straight before Novak sealed the deal to lift his 46th ATP title and 35th on hard court. Djokovic took 27 more points than Berdych and got broken once in the closing stages. The Serb took 64% of the return points and delivered six breaks that took him to the top in no time.

Berdych was helpless against such a strong opponent, barely dodging a double bagel and praising Djokovic after the match. Tomas admitted that he had never experienced anything like this before, even though he faced Roger Federer and Andre Agassi at his best.

Novak had the upper hand in the shorter and mid-range exchanges, controlling his strikes very well and forcing his opponent to play an extra shot. The Czech made a forehand error in the first game of the match to lose serve.

He played another loose forehand in the third game to fall behind 3-0 and send the Serb further ahead. Novak won four points in a row in game four to extend the lead and created a break point in the next from 40-15 down.

Djokovic forced Berdych’s error to deliver the third break in game five and fired three winners in the next for 6-0 in 30 minutes.

Novak Djokovic beat Tomas Berdych 6-0, 6-2 at Beijing 2014.

Tomas was broken at love early in the second set after a double fault, and Novak advanced 6-0, 2-0 with four winners in the second game.

Djokovic capitalized on his fifth straight break in game three to go further and rattled off the 10th straight game with a forehand winner a few minutes later. Novak struck another break in game five after an incredible point and backhand crosscourt winner and served for the title at 5-0.

Berdych saved a match point and created the second break chance after a loose forehand from Djokovic. Novak made another forehand error and lost serve for the first time. The Czech claimed game seven at love with an ace, and the Serb served for the title for the second time at 5-2.

Novak won two match points with a forehand crosscourt winner and wasted both. Djokovic created the third match point with a powerful serve and fired another to seal the deal and remain perfect in Beijing. “I didn’t get injured, I felt good physically throughout the tournament.

The problem was that I met someone I had never met before in the final. That’s how well Novak performed today. He was outstanding, and there’s not much I can add; he swept me off the field. I’ve played over 600 matches in my career, facing the likes of Andre Agassi and Roger Federer in their prime.

But I have never experienced anything like this. In the final stages, I tried to give my racket to a ball boy and release some tension. There was nothing more he could do as Novak played exceptional tennis. The score didn’t matter; I had to give it my all until the end, playing the final in front of a packed stadium.

It was similar in Rome when he was down a set and 5-2 down against Novak. Suddenly, I reached out and won the match. I didn’t expect that today, but at least I tried something,» said Tomas Berdych.

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