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Monday 24 September 2018

Djokovic primed for 2014 after downing rival Rafa

NOVAK DJOKOVIC positioned himself as the man to beat going into 2014 with his 22nd consecutive win to retain his ATP World Tour Finals title.

Djokovic defeated Rafael Nadal, the man who usurped his number one ranking, 6-3 6-4 and has not been beaten since losing the US Open final to the Spaniard two months ago.

The Serbian has won 10 straight matches at London's O2 Arena and will look to clinch a fourth consecutive Australian Open title in January. Djokovic still has the Davis Cup final to come against the Czech Republic next weekend, but he is already halfway to bettering the 43-match unbeaten run he went on at the start of 2011.

The 26-year-old said: "The most positive thing that I can take from this two and a half months is the fact that I managed to regroup after a few big losses.

"I think I've worked on a few things in my game and serve that has helped me win a lot of matches in the last two months.

"This is definitely the best possible way that I can finish the season, not including the Davis Cup final that I have in a few days' time, where of course I hope we can bring another title to our country.

Motivated

"This can serve as a great platform for the 2014 season. I'm extra motivated and inspired to work and get myself, first of all, rested and recovered in the off-season, and then work on my game and get ready for the Australian Open."

It was a convincing win for Djokovic on a surface that favours him over Nadal, and leaves the Spaniard still chasing the one major title he has not yet won.

The world number one felt it was only his serve that let him down, saying: "I think the level of tennis was similar. The level of serve was not similar.

"On this kind of court, the first shot is very important, and he did that first shot much better than me.

"I felt that I was playing well enough to be a little bit closer than the score.

"But at the end I lost 6-3 6-4 because the opponent played better than me."

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