Djokovic beats Nishikori to set up top-dog tussle with Murray

Posted November 25, 2016

Andy Murray has beaten Novak Djokovic 6-3 6-4 to capture the ATP World Tour Finals title and secure the year-end world number-one ranking. He managed to avoid getting broken, putting Murray at a crossroads: would the missed opportunity lead to his unraveling as it so often has between the two, or would he be steeled by the confidence of a career-best 23 match winning streak? Since then, Murray won the Wimbledon while Djokovic lost the US Open final to Swiss star Stan Wawrinka.

This was the longest match in Tour Finals history - eclipsing the record mark set when Murray beat Nishikori in three hours and 20 minutes on Wednesday.

It looked like Murray was heading out of the tournament when Raonic opened up a 2-0 advantage in the second set, but he broke back to love before going on to level the match 7-5 in the tiebreak.

Fitness and fatigue will determine who wins the final match of the season - Andy Murray or Novak Djokovic - and who finishes No.1 in the world. "To finish the year as No 1 is something I never expected".

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Murray's previous vic- tories against Djokovic had come when he successfully trod the fine line between aggression and patience. "I got a lot of free points off my first serve, as well".

The win over Djokovic - just his third since Wimbledon 2013 - will allow him to start 2017 on the front foot in their long term rivalry, and as he chases that elusive first Australian Open title.

"Well, the last five, six months have not been ideal", he said. "Just kept getting momentum and it gave me motivation toward the end of the year when I was exhausted". These last four or five months, I haven't lost any matches. "I can't expect anything except to really get myself in the right state of mind and try to perform as well as I did tonight".

"I'm aware that's going to be extremely hard".

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After collecting the tournament and world No 1 trophies, Murray said: "Obviously it's a very special day".

"I'm really privileged to be a part of history on Sunday", said the Serb. I think although I maybe made a few more mistakes than I would have liked, I think tactically I played a good match. The match will be played at the O2 Arena in London.

Instead, the 29-year-old will face Canada's Milos Raonic in Saturday's semi-finals.

The 12-time Grand Slam victor would not go quietly, and earns one break back, and saves one match point, and another thanks to this wicked forehand.

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