'Novak Djokovic is something else, and I faced Roger Federer,' former ace recalls

Tennis - Novak Djokovic almost scored a double bagel over Tomas Berdych in Beijing 2014

by Jovica Ilic
'Novak Djokovic is something else, and I faced Roger Federer,' former ace recalls

Novak Djokovic conquered his fifth consecutive China Open crown in Beijing 2014, beating Tomas Berdych 6-0, 6-2 in 67 minutes. Novak played on a high level from start to finish and had a match point at 6-0, 5-0 after under an hour, standing a point away from a double bagel!

Tomas saved it and won two straight games before Novak sealed the deal to lift his 46th ATP title and the 35th on hard court. Djokovic took 27 points more than Berdych and got broken once in the closing stages. The Serb took 64% of the return points and delivered six breaks that carried him over the top in no time.

Berdych was powerless against such a strong rival, barely avoiding a double bagel and praising Djokovic after the encounter. Tomas admitted he had never experienced something like that before, even though he faced Roger Federer and Andre Agassi in their primes.

Novak had the upper hand in the shortest and mid-range exchanges, taming his strokes nicely and forcing his opponent to play an extra shot. The Czech sprayed a forehand error in the encounter's first game to lose serve. He played another loose forehand in game three to fall 3-0 behind and send the Serb further in front.

Novak won four straight points in game four to extend the lead and created a break point in the next one from 40-15 down. Djokovic forced Berdych's mistake to deliver the third break in the fifth game and fired three winners in the next one for 6-0 in 30 minutes.

Novak Djokovic beat Tomas Berdych 6-0, 6-2 in Beijing 2014.

Tomas got broken at love at the start of the second set after a double fault, and Novak moved 6-0, 2-0 up with four winners in game two. Djokovic grabbed his fifth consecutive break in game three to move further ahead and rattled off the tenth straight game with a forehand winner a few minutes later.

Novak clinched another break in game five following an incredible point and a backhand crosscourt winner and served for the title at 5-0. Berdych saved a match point and created the second break chance after Djokovic's loose forehand.

Novak sprayed another forehand mistake and lost serve for the first time. The Czech claimed the seventh game at love with an ace, and the Serb served for the title for the second time at 5-2. Novak earned two match points with a forehand crosscourt winner and wasted both.

Djokovic created the third match point with a powerful serve and fired another to seal the deal and remain perfect in Beijing. "I was not injured; I felt good physically throughout the tournament. The problem was that I met someone I had never met before in the final.

That's how good Novak performed today. He was outstanding, and there's not much I can add; he swept me off the court. I have played over 600 matches in my career, facing the players like Andre Agassi and Roger Federer in their primes.

But I have never experienced anything like this. In the closing stages, I tried to give my racquet to a ball girl and release the tension a bit. There was nothing else I could do, as Novak played outstanding tennis. The score did not matter; I had to give my everything until the end, playing the final in front of the packed stadium.

It was similar in Rome when I was a set and 5-2 down against Novak. Suddenly, I came up and won the match. I was not hoping for that today, but I at least tried something," Tomas Berdych said.

Novak Djokovic Roger Federer Tomas Berdych