In Cincinnati the following year, Novak Djokovic was once more among the competitors to defeat after making it to the championship match in 2008. On his path to the victory, the Serb faced Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, and he wanted to perform at his peak and beat his toughest opponents.
After defeating the Spaniard 6-1 6-4 in the semi-final in one hour and 32 minutes, Novak successfully conquered the first obstacle. For the fifth time in 19 meetings, Djokovic defeated Nadal to proceed to his 10th Masters 1000 final and face Federer for the championship.
Nadal defeated three opponents to advance to the semifinals despite only playing in the second tournament after Roland Garros and with tendinitis in both knees. But he had little chance against Djokovic, who won the match on serve and return from beginning to end.
With 21 winners, 15 more points scored than Rafa, one break point successfully defended, and three serve steals, Novak qualified for the championship match. To break his losing record against one of his greatest adversaries, the Serb outplayed the Spaniard and gained a significant lead at the closest range to four shots.
With a backhand crosscourt winner in the fourth game of the match, Novak broke, and a few minutes later, he blasted one from his right to go up 4-1. In the sixth game, Nadal struck a backhand; shortly after, Djokovic won a service point to end the opening game.
Djokovic changed things.
Vasek Pospisil, a former doubles champion at Wimbledon, admitted it was challenging for him because he was friends with Novak Djokovic. I was playing at a fairly good level the past couple of weeks, especially in Tel Aviv, he claimed.
“I thought I was fairly competitive in my terrific match against Novak, but it is always difficult because he is a really good friend of mine. I had to fight the fact that he is a dear friend and one of the most feared athletes in the history of our sport.
I had to channel all of that into having the confidence to compete and succeed, which I did, which isn’t always the case. Additionally, I believe it is evidence of my improved play, hard work, and will to prevail in that game “added Pospisil.
The tennis, he continued, “I believe proved it, and he’s incredibly polite and said some really good things to me after the match and gave me lot of confidence as well.