Novak Djokovic overwhelms Rafael Nadal to retain ATP World Tour Finals title

Story highlights

  • Novak Djokovic wins ATP World Tour Finals title for second straight year
  • Thrashes Rafael Nadal in straight sets 6-3 6-4
  • Near faultless display from Serbian World No.2
  • Fernando Verdasco and David Marrero win thrilling doubles final

Rightly billed as a clash of tennis titans, World No.1 versus World No.2, few were expecting the comprehensive manner of Novak Djokovic's defeat of Rafael Nadal to retain the ATP World Tour Finals title Monday night in London.

Nadal will still end the year as the top ranked player in the world, but he was given a timely reminder that on the fast indoor surface of the 02 Arena, Djokovic reigns supreme, retaining his title with a 6-3 6-4 victory.

It came after just one hour 36 minutes on his third championship point, with Nadal putting a forehand wide, rounding off an uncharacteristically tame display from the Spaniard.

Djokovic has been undefeated since losing to Nadal in the final of the U.S. Open in September and he deservedly lifted the trophy, named in honor of former ATP president Brad Drewett, who died earlier this year.

Read: Tennis stars pay homage to Drewett

After the gladiatorial style entrants by both men, it was Djokovic who struck the first blows, racing to a 3-0 lead with an early break of Nadal's service.

Djokovic: Anti-doping system not working
Djokovic: Anti-doping system not working


    Djokovic: Anti-doping system not working


Djokovic: Anti-doping system not working 02:54
Secret to beating tennis' big four
Secret to beating tennis' big four


    Secret to beating tennis' big four


Secret to beating tennis' big four 05:40

He had a point for a double break, but the Spaniard weathered the storm before making inroads on Djokovic's next service game to draw them level at 3-3.

But Djokovic was not to be denied and after holding his own service, he broke Nadal again, the decisive point seeing both men at full stretch with scarcely believable retrieving.

Djokovic finally put away a decisive volley then held his own service, clinching the set with an ace.

He was immediately on the front foot in the second set, breaking Nadal early again to take a lead he never relinquished.

Read: Top pair set for ATP showdown

Nadal was under pressure as he served to stay in the match at 3-5, saving the first match point and forcing his opponent to serve out for the championship.

Nadal at last showed glimpses of his true quality by saving a second championship point, but any hopes of an unlikely revival were quickly snuffed out as Djokovic sent down an ace to bring up his third chance to take the title for a third time.

Nadal still leads their career meetings 22-17 and will be looking to revenge the defeat when the 2014 season starts with the Australian Open in January.

Tennis greats gather for ATP reunion
Tennis greats gather for ATP reunion


    Tennis greats gather for ATP reunion


Tennis greats gather for ATP reunion 02:50
Rafael Nadal: Comeback was difficult
Rafael Nadal: Comeback was difficult


    Rafael Nadal: Comeback was difficult


Rafael Nadal: Comeback was difficult 02:35

Before that, Djokovic will lead Serbia in the final of the Davis Cup against the Czech Republic, hoping to continue his unbeaten end to the season.

Read: Djokovic and Troicki slam doping procedures

Earlier, Fernando Verdasco and his Spanish compatriot David Marrero lifted the doubles title, beating the top seeds and three-time former champions Mike and Bob Bryan of the United States.

Verdasco and Marrero won a close final 7-5 6-7 10-7 in one hour and 44 minutes, succeeding Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez as winners of the end of season finale.

They shared $335,500 in prize money, while the Bryans -- five-time finalists -- split $195,500. The losing pair have the consolation of comfortably ending 2013 as the top pair in the world, winning three of the four major titles with a 70-13 record.


    • Rafael Nadal of Spain watches the ball in his match against Martin Klizan of Slovakia during during day seven of the China Open at the National Tennis Center on October 3, 2014 in Beijing, China.

      What does 2015 hold for Rafa?

      Rafael Nadal's body might be giving him a few problems, but his mind remains as strong as ever. Will the Spaniard add to his haul of 14 grand slam titles?
    • LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 17: Wimbledon champion Andy Murray and his long time girlfriend Kim Sears arrive at Buckingham Palace on October 17, in London, England. Murray will become an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) and receive his medal from the Duke of Cambridge. (Photo by John Stillwell - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

      Love game: Andy Murray to tie knot

      The Scot has served up a few changes to his support team in 2014 but there's one person who isn't going anywhere -- his new fiancée Kim Sears.
    • Despite being forced to retire at the age of 24 due to health problems, Lacoste remained in the game and went on start the "Lacoste" brand in 1933, which specialised in tennis products. The inspiration for the company's logo came from his nickname as a player, "le crocodile."

      'Crocodile' who broke all the rules

      His distinctive crocodile logo is seen on clothing all over the world, but Rene Lacoste also left a lasting legacy in the development of tennis.
    • Serena Williams of the US holds the US Open trophy after defeating Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark during their US Open 2014 women's singles finals match at the USTA Billie Jean King National Center September 7, 2014 in New York. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

      Serena savors U.S. Open win

      Serena Williams is without peer in the modern women's game and now she is on a par with two American tennis legends from the past.
    • American tennis player and golfer Althea Gibson (right) receives a kiss from compatriot Darlene Hard, whom she beat in two sets to become the first black woman to win the Women's Singles Finals at Wimbledon.

      The amazing life of Althea Gibson

      Over the course of her remarkable life, Althea Gibson was many things to many people -- but it was tennis where she really left her mark.
    • Courting couple at match point

      "I didn't cry once when I practiced in front of the mirror," says Martin Emmrich. But the nerves kicked in when he got down on one knee on court.
    • LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 03: Tennis / Frauen: Wimbledon 2004, London; Finale; Siegerin Maria SHARAPOVA / RUS 03.07.04. (Photo by Bongarts/Bongarts/Getty Images)

      'Baby' Sharapova's big moment

      It's 10 years since a teenage Maria Sharapova became the darling of Wimbledon's hallowed Center Court, launching herself as a star.
    • 'Swiss Miss' follows mom's lead

      Five-time grand slam champion Martina Hingis has followed her mom into a coaching role, setting up a new tennis academy in Barcelona, Spain.