World number 1 and the five-time ATP Finals champion Novak Djokovic has played another impressive match to leave Guga Kuerten Group with a perfect 3-0 score, ousting Marin Cilic 7-6 6-2 in an hour and 33 minutes for his 34th win at this tournament overall and the 52nd in 2018 so far and the 46th in the last 51 matches after Madrid! This was their 19th meeting and the 17th win for the Serb who wasted a match point against Marin in the final at Queen's in June before beating him in Cincinnati, Paris and here in London.
This was one of the most dominant performances on serve for Novak Djokovic in the entire career, dropping five points in the entire encounter and keeping Marin away from any chance for the break after six holds at love! On the other hand, Cilic fought well in the opening set (probably the best one we saw this week) even though he had no chance of reaching the semis, wasting a set point at 6-5 before fading from the court in the rest of the match to end his season and get some well-deserved rest before the start of 2019.
Carried by that momentum from the opening set, Djokovic did everything right in set number two as well and Cilic couldn't follow that pace, getting broken in games five and seven to lose five straight games and send Novak into the semis with a perfect 3-0 score, standing as the favorite against Kevin Anderson there as well.
At one point, Novak won incredible 31 points in a row behind his initial shot and he secured all three wins in the round robin stage for the fifth time in his career. Djokovic finished the match with 18 winners and 12 unforced errors while Cilic counted to 21 winners but also 25 mistakes, unable to tame his forehand and to create more open space against the rival who covers the court in the best possible way.
Novak dominated in both the shortest and longer points and he earned the win fair and square for 200 extra points on his tally and a chance to leave London with the maximum 1500, just like Dimitrov 12 months ago. Gustavo Kuerten Group result: