Novak Djokovic against Kei Nishikori was inevitably the highlight of the day: the man on a mission called to win everything in 2021 against the home player, the only survivor of men and women in the Olympic tournament. A destiny, however, that history taught to be marked for the Japanese.
Kei had beaten Djokovic in the semifinal of the 2014 US Open but, after that day, he had only collected defeats for a very heavy deficit of 17-2 in 19 comparisons. And so it was: the Serbian wins two sets, the Japanese two games.
Right from the start, the plot seems to respect a banal script: Djokovic escapes 3-0, nearly 5-1, but still manages to put two breaks between himself and the Japanese by signing the 6-2 with a final break. It goes from bad to worse for Nishikori who, frankly, does not have the slightest weapons to scratch the game of the Serbian who does everything like the Japanese but sensationally better.
The only 'annoyance' on the day of the world number one is the break point that he faces - and cancels - in the game that opens the second set. Then Nole escapes at supersonic speed at 5-0 and then goes to make a decidedly humiliating passive with the 'bagel' that sends the strongest player in the world to the final with the 22nd consecutive victory.
Basically, the Serbian does not lose a match from the Internazionali d'Italia, where he was stopped by Nadal in the final. After that day for 'Robonole' came the titles of Belgrade, Roland Garros and Wimbledon.
Novak Djokovic on beating Nishikori
Novak Djokovic cruised past home favorite Kei Nishikori on Thursday to book his spot in the semifinals of the men's singles event at the Tokyo Olympics.
The World No. 1 wasted no time in completing a 6-2, 6-0 win over the Japanese. "Matches are not getting easier, but my level of tennis is getting better and better," Djokovic told ITF Tennis. "I've done that many, many times in my career: I know that I'm kind of player that the further the tournament goes, the better I'm feeling on the court.
That's the case here: my best performance of the tournament tonight against a very good opponent." Djokovic admitted he was well aware of Nishikori's strengths and weaknesses and that he had an answer for everything the Japanese threw at him on Thursday.
"Kei, I know his game very well. Him playing in Japan, this court where he had lots of success, I knew that he's going to play very quick and he's not gonna give me a lot of time so I had to be very alert. And I feel I had an answer for everything he had," Djokovic said.