Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal got off to a winning start at the 2010 ATP Finals in London before meeting in the second round of round robin action. After one hour and 52 minutes, Nadal defeated Djokovic 7-5, 6-2 to hold onto a perfect score and move within a spot in the semifinal.
Novak kept in touch until it was 5-5 in the first set before losing ground with a sore right eye that took his focus away and made him struggle for the rest of the match. Djokovic’s eye began to give him trouble in the eighth game, and he took medical timeout to fix the problem and continue the match.
Still, he couldn’t improve his eyesight despite changing contacts a couple of times, playing all-or-nothing shots late in the game, and not being able to beat such a strong opponent. After the match, Novak said that he had never experienced anything like this in his career, feeling angry about what happened against Nadal in such an important tournament.
In addition, the Serbian mentioned the referees, who did not want to give him more time to solve his problem and continue the match with a competitive spirit. Nadal saved four of five break points and surrendered four breaks leading him to his 16th win over Djokovic in 23 meetings.
They traded breaks at 2-2 in the opener and held neck-and-neck in the next four games despite Novak’s apparent struggles. Nadal broke it at 5-5 and saved three break points at 12 to bring home the first gset after 75 minutes.
Nadal erased three break chances and claimed it after playing out 75 minutes. Novak tried to fix his eye problems before the second set, but it only got worse, as he lost serve in games one and three to fall further behind.
Nadal moved to 4-0 with a service winner and held at 30 in the sixth game with a big winner to get closer to the finish line. Djokovic held at 15 in the seventh game before Nadal sealed the deal with a service winner in the next.
Djokovic returned to Australia
Novak Djokovic could potentially own three more records at Melbourne Park. “He came into the tournament with a 21 match unbeaten run, that started in 2019, and went on to win, playing all his matches on Rod Laver Arena, which puts him at 28.
He surpassed his previous run of 22 victories, then beat Andre Agassi and Martina Hingis who were second with 25, and also overtook Monica Seles’ 26 to hold the record himself.” said Trollope. “I think in terms of what’s left to achieve (for Djokovic), a couple of things that we could look forward to next year if Djokovic comes back healthy and keen to win at Melbourne park,” he said.
“This statistic doesn’t just relate to Rod Laver Arena, it would be the longest winning streak at the tournament in its history”.