Today Djokovic defeated the alternate Goffin 6-1, 6-2 after the withdrawal of Monfils. It was exactly the kind of performance he would have liked to put in before advancing to the knockout stage of the tournament.
It seems he is now back after his slump but that will only be official if he wins the tournament. Against Goffin, it was the old Djokovic with his relentless accuracy and consistency from the baseline and it was good to see.
So far it has really been the perfect tournament for him given the situation when things got underway. I was clearly wrong in thinking he won’t recover before next year although like I said he still has to confirm his return with the title.
Either way, he is now in a very good position with Murray who had the longest three-set match in ATP Finals history with Nishikori and who gets no rest day between his last group match and the semis. Murray is also playing Stan in his final group match who caught fire against Cilic winning 7-6(3), 7-6(3).
That opened things up in the Mcenroe group because it is not even certain that Murray will qualify for the semis. If Stan defeats him in straight sets and Nishikori defeats Cilic then Murray goes home.
And knowing Stan, it is not impossible for him to defeat Murray in straight sets. Even if he doesn’t defeat Murray it can easily be another three-setter which will tire Murray out more before the semis.
So all of a sudden Djokovic is in a good position to win the title and end the year number one. If that happens he will cap off another incredible year in style but there is still some way to go.
All I know is the picture is now looking considerably different from when things got underway because Murray’s draw and schedule are working against him and he now has his work cut out to prove that he is a real deal number one and not just someone who took advantage of weak competition.
If Djokovic continues in his current form he is going to be awfully hard to stop and I am really impressed with how he has risen to the occasion. Clearly, it didn’t sit very well with him that he lost the number one ranking and he is now on the warpath.
Tonight Raonic and Thiem will play and the winner will qualify for the semis in second place behind Djokovic in the Lendl group. I guess Raonic will probably win but I hope Thiem wins.