World number 1 Novak on the brink of a seventh year ending number one record. He faced Pole Hubert Hurkacz who had a breakthrough 2021 as far as top ten us concerned. This was a match of the long rally. Hubert had all the answers to Djokovic’s staying power in the first set. There were errors from both players at crucial points. First to blink was Novak at 4-3 (40-30). He tries to catch out the Pole by volleying down the line which was well read by the tall Hurkacz. This height also comes in handy serving especially on first serve. Watch 5-3 adv Hubert set point. The power on it forcing Novak into the error despite all the effort to take the sting out of it.
Still amazed as the complete turn around collapse by Hubert in the second set. To try to pin point I made two conclusions. Hubert got sloppy and careless which is common after winning a set against a top player. Watch 1-0(40-30). Novak can also wear you down if you don’t finish the point quickly, he waits for your mistake and if the mistake doesn’t come , there usually is a forehand winner in there. Two, Hubert game plan was off and needed to go for the short service game.
Third set Hurkacz also went a break down first at 2-1(adv Novak). Novak showing why he is world number 1,by eii ing the key rallies in big matches. Hurkacz did well initially when Novak went in attack but he isn’t exactly a play at the net guy. To the Pole’s credit he didn’t crash as he did in set two and broke back at 4-2(15-40). The forehand as good as it gets , flat little spin over the higher part of the net. He dodged a bullet at 5-4(adv Novak) match point. For once composure deserting Novak pulling the backhand cross court wide. As I alluded to from the start the match was won on errors and Hubert committed two that ultimately buried him in the tie breaker at 5-5. A review challenge at 6-5 a desperate attempt to stay in it. Novak confirmed as year end number one. So much for him having motivation to win the ATP Championships.