World no. 1 Novak Djokovic needed all his energy and experience to record his 70th match win of the season on Monday in a hard-fought match at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. Djokovic came back to beat seventh seed Tomas Berdych, saving one match point at 5-6 in the deciding set, for a 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(3) victory in two hours and 38 minutes.
"It was the toughest match probably since the US Open," admitted Djokovic. "I mean, I wasn't very satisfied with my performance tonight. I know I wasn't playing on top of my game. But a win is a win in the end.
"I knew that my opponent tonight is an unpredictable player, who has a powerful groundstrokes and great serve. If he's on, if he feels the ball well, it's difficult to compete with him. That's what happened.
I think he made pressure, a lot of pressure, on my serve, especially the second serve. He was stepping in. I went back. I was too passive." Djokovic will play fifth seed David Ferrer of Spain on Wednesday. "I'm feeling really disappointed," said Berdych.
"I had a match point, I had a break up in the third set, and I did something on the match point which I couldn't change now. Probably I would try to do the same if I would have a match point again. Maybe I was too risky.
But that's how I play. That was my chance to end up the match. "I don't know what I can take positive from this game. I mean, probably could be something. But the first thing is definitely going to be start to forget it as quickly as possible as I can and be ready for Wednesday." "It would mean a lot [to win the tournament]," said Djokovic.
"It's a crown for all the achievements I had. It would be a fantastic way to end the best season in my career. But look, I need to step up a little bit. I need to raise the level of performance in order to have a chance to go all the way." .