Rafael Nadal v Novak Djokovic ATP World Tour Finals as it happened

Live video, audio and text commentary as Novak Djokovic beats Rafael Nadal to win the World Tour Finals in London.

11 November 2013 Last updated at 22:40

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As it happened

  1. 2233: 

    A wonderful week by the banks of the Thames comes to an end. Eight of the world's best players, 15 singles matches and each one of them absorbing. The tournament went according to the form book as the top two seeds reached the final and, in the end, the defending champion retained his title convincingly. That's it for this evening's live text commentary. In the words of Rafael Nadal: "See you next year".

  2. 2228: 
    Novak Djokovic

    Djokovic hoists the Brad Drewett trophy aloft and that seems to cause a short circuit as sparks fly and ticker tape whooshes around the arena. The champion, who becomes the seventh player to win this title at least three times, thanks the crowd and then goes on to pay tribute to his team. "You may see us playing alone on the court but the big success comes from these guys behind us," says the Serb.

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    Victoria Barry: What a fab treat for a wet Monday night! Fantastic entertainment & match by two of the greatest tennis players of our time.

    Jean Morris: In awe of these athletes. They command space like artists. And never falter in the face of defeat. Brilliant match.

    Notjustjogging: Djokovic is a machine! Gave Nadal the complete run around. Impressive

  4. 2224: 

    The ATP Tour Finals trophy still eludes Nadal, but the Spaniard manages to smile when he is introduced to the crowd as the runner-up.

    "Hello everybody," says the defeated finalist. "First thing, I want to say is congratulate a super player like Novak. I wish you the best of luck in the Davis Cup, you deserve it." [Ed, I'm fairly sure he said that to Tomas Berdych during the group stages.]

    "This is probably one of the best seasons of my career and playing this match in this stadium is just fantastic for me. Thanks to all the crowd for all the support, not only today but around the week and all the crowd that supported me. See you next year."

    Piers Newbery, BBC Sport at the 02 in London

    "Two ATP Finals titles in a row, 10 matches in a row at the O2 Arena, and 22 matches in a row to end the season. And yet Djokovic might still feel a bit unsatisfied after a year that saw him miss out on his major goal of the French Open at the hands of Nadal, and lose in the Wimbledon and US Open finals too.

    "There is no doubt that he rules at each end of the year, however, and his unbeaten run could well stretch into 2014 when he heads to the Australian Open as the three-time defending champion. After the little matter of the Davis Cup final, which begins in Friday. He hasn't got a moment to himself."

    Tim Henman, Former British number one and BBC Sport expert

    "Djokovic stamped his authority on the final in the first three games by hitting the ball and moving so well. Rafa came back into it but it was a match too far for Rafael. He deserves to be world number one but indoors Djokovic remains the man to beat."

    GAME AND SECOND SET- *Nadal 3-6 4-6 Djokovic

    The sight of Nadal surging along the baseline, aiming a wristy ping into the corner for 15-30, captivates and gives his fans belief. What if? What if? The Spaniard then pounces like a panther at the net, dispatching a fierce volley to level at 30-30 and the seeds of doubt are being sown. Djokovic, however, gets himself a match point but oh boy what is this? The second seed throws over a volley from an acute angle, but the revived Spaniard responds with a winning volley from the zaniest of angles for deuce. An ace down the tee. Djokovic roars like a wild beast. Third match point... The pair slug it out from the baseline, Nadal letting rip with a series of venomous forehands, but one goes long and with that Djokovic claims his third ATP Tour Finals title.

    Tim Henman, Former British number one and BBC Sport expert

    "Djokovic was trying to finish the match there and then so he doesn't have to go through the trials of serving for the championship. Nadal has another chance but he has yet to make an impact on Djokovic's service and he needs to do that to make Djokovic think a little bit. He's always been playing catch-up."

    Nadal 3-6 4-5 Djokovic*

    At 15-30 the Nadal camp look worried and understandably so, their man's tormentor is merely two points away from victory. The Spaniard somehow levels at 30-30 but he looks helpless in attempting to fend off one flame thrower of a shot after another from Djokovic. A tired-looking backhand into the tape from Nadal. Match point Djokovic. The resilient Spaniard takes us to deuce. A shaky backhand return from Djokovic. Nadal then flicks on the switch and fires the engine with a beautiful forehand winner which grazes the baseline. The world number one treats us to a celebratory leap. Will there be an unexpected twist to the tale?

    Rafael Nadal
    *Nadal 3-6 3-5 Djokovic

    Supernaturally good from Djokovic as he steps in to ping a crunching backhand winner beyond Nadal's grasp for a 40-0 lead. Djokovic has only lost three points on his own serve in this set. Oops, you can now make that four as Nadal shows some resistance but the world number one fails to negotiate the barrier on the next point and Djokovic can nearly touch that trophy.

    Miles Maclagan, Andy Murray's former coach on BBC Radio 5 live

    "Djokovic's winning streak has given him enormous confidence. Time and time again he's just been completely in control. It's like a training drill the way he is moving Nadal around the court."

    Listen to commentary on BBC Radio 5 live.

    Nadal 3-6 3-4 Djokovic*

    At 15-30, a few maverick supporters break the silence with vociferous cheers, but whether they're encouraging Djokovic to stick in the knife or encouraging Nadal to flick on the switch is difficult to fathom. Another fruitful visit to the net from Djokovic earns him two break points. But one return sails well wide of the tramlines. The decibels rise.... The crowd spontaneously applaud.... Another botched return - two break points saved and Nadal lives on. A third return on the trot goes awry, but then Nadal falters, back to deuce we go. Nadal pulls an ace out of the bag and eventually, through the skin of his teeth, he holds.

    *Nadal 3-6 2-4 Djokovic

    A crisp ace gets the game under way. An epic rally then ensues and Djokovic tames the Spaniard's threat by shuffling towards the net and ripping a crosscourt volley beyond his opponent. Nadal can be seen flexing his knee after that point, but gets some respite on the next as Djokovic launches a crackerjack of an ace.

    What would have been a blemish-free hold is ruined when Nadal wins a rare point on the Djokovic serve. The Serb goes long on the next point to give his opponent hope at 40-30, but he thwarts Nadal's resistance with a clinical overhead volley. Nothing more to see. Time to move on.

    Nadal 3-6 2-3 Djokovic*
    Novak Djokovic celebrates

    Nadal, of course, has one only one title indoors so he hasn't been accustomed to experiencing glory indoors. But this is Nadal so anything is possible. A Djokovic forehand return goes long, allowing the top seeds to secure one of his more comfortable service games.

    *Nadal 3-6 1-3 Djokovic

    It's as if Djokovic has arrived on court with a sword and Nadal is playing with a blunt knife. The Spaniard spraying the ball here, there and everywhere. He fires a wild forehand into the tramlines, allowing Djokovic to skip merrily on his way with a hold to love.

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    Peter Vaz: Nadal playing with such intensity...you can tell he wants it so badly...but maybe that's the problem!

    Vipin Matthew: Is there anything Djokovic can't rundown? Incredible athlete.

    Pat Cash, Former Wimbledon champion on BBC Radio 5 live

    "That's a great return from Djokovic to secure the break. He hits it flat, and has amazing accuracy and depth, and the ball flies so quickly to Nadal's forehand. It's amazing how often he hits the baseline. He is supremely confident at the moment."

    Listen to live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live.

    DJOKOVIC BREAKS- Nadal 3-6 1-2 Djokovic*

    A hint of a sight from Nadal after he allows two points to slip and, incredibly, the Spaniard rather carelessly finds himself needing to save three break points. Djokovic approaches the net, scooping a backhand into the tape. One point saved. The Serb then screws a backhand into the tramlines. Two break points saved. Nadal is a touch too passive, however, making too many unforced errors, and he folds - another fine return from Djokovic leads to another Nadal forehand bouncing beyond the baseline.

    *Nadal 3-6 1-1 Djokovic

    Nadal attempting to find the lines with a series of brutal groundstrokes, but Djokovic returning whatever comes his way. A couple of wayward returns from Nadal ensures it's a trouble-free hold to 15 for the defending champion.

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    Dayle Hammond: Some of the best tennis ever is produced when Djokovic and Nadal step out onto court together.

    Nick Krol: There are some ridiculous rallies in this match which you can't believe you are watching.

    Jonny Singleton: Oh my lord Novak - how did he get that?! Why can't this be five sets? Only way to do a match between these two justice.

    Nadal 3-6 1-0 Djokovic*
    Novak Djokovic

    Crash! Bang! Wallop! Djokovic's outstretched forehand return hangs in the air for an age, but Nadal's concentration doesn't waver and an overhead smash drags him to 30-30. The Spaniard's brow is now permanently furrowed, as if a pest has been buzzing around him for the last hour, which I suppose there has.

    GAME AND FIRST SET- *Nadal 3-6 Djokovic

    You make your own luck, so they say. A half volley from Djokovic clips the net and bounces in play but beyond Nadal's reach and the Serb is level at 30-30 and he soon secures a wonderful opening set with a rip-roaring serve.

    DJOKOVIC BREAKS- Nadal 3-5 Djokovic*

    Nadal picking up double faults like the rest of us pick up colds. A third of the match allows Djokovic to level for 15-15. The Spaniard has hit the target with just 52% of his first serves so far and, needless to say, Djokovic is a man who can punish a second serve.

    Nadal seeing a mirror image of himself across the other side of the net, a man who can fetch and retrieve all night long. The Spaniard clubs a forehand into the tape for a break point. A 125mph first serve takes us to deuce. Fourth double fault. The sound of questioning gasps. Second break point. And, oh my word, what follows is a moment of wizardry from Djokovic. He gobbles up ground to pounce at the net... a series of high-voltage volleys and Nadal is made to look like a muggle. A winning volley while eyeball to eyeball with his rival. Djokovic opens his arms and roars, while 17,000 spectators applaud.

    *Nadal 3-4 Djokovic
    Novak Djokovic

    At 30-0, Nadal sees his rival approach the net so attempts to pass him with a backhand down the line. "Out" bellows a line judge. Nadal looks down the other side of the court, thinks about challenging but turns his back and winces instead. One magical return from the Spaniard, but a free lunch of a service game for Djokovic who holds to 15.

    Nadal 3-3 Djokovic*

    The overhead camera swoops across the arena and everyone is applauding a marvellous crosscourt backhand winner from Djokovic which earns the Serb the opening point. But the backhand fluctuates from being a potent weapon to a liability. An eighth unforced error from Djokovic on that side and it's a comfortable hold for Nadal.

    Tim Henman, Former British number one and BBC Sport expert

    "This is certainly good for the neutral. Djokovic made far too many unforced errors. He won't be happy with that service game. There were a lot of forced errors but there was one forehand that missed by six feet."

    You can send your questions for Andrew Castle and Tim Henman to answer in tonight's commentary on BBC Three by using #bbctennis.

    NADAL BREAKS BACK- *Nadal 2-3 Djokovic

    Nadal is almost frothing at the mouth, pacing along the baseline, preparing to attack his prey. The Spaniard returns the Djokovic second serve with venom and that's the trap set as the Serb carelessly finds the tape, awarding Nadal two break points. The defending champion sprints to the tape to fend off his pursuer once and does so once more with an ace for deuce. A third break point comes Nadal's way. From tramline to tramline they go, Nadal probing... Djokovic steps in from the baseline... backhand long from the Serb...music to Nadal's ears...

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    Syed Yousuf: Djokovic plays deeper against Nadal than against anyone else. Honestly bring out the best in each other.

    Dhruv Jayanth: Is the Djokovic backhand the only stroke better than the Rafa forehand?

    Nadal 1-3 Djokovic*

    A double fault from Nadal gives Djokovic a peek at 30-15 and Stefan Edberg is caught on camera giggling like a naughty schoolboy, though I'm sure it isn't because of the world number one's unforced errors.

    Djokovic drags his rival to 30-30 and a second double fault of the game (true story) presents Djokovic with a break point. The Spaniard needs to rev his engine and start firing on all cylinders.

    Nadal wallops a forehand into the corner but the rubber-legged Serb simply slides towards the tramline and returns. The Spaniard aims at the Djokovic backhand and gets his rewards, with the Serb clobbering into the tramlines. A stentorian roar from the Serb at the opportunity missed.

    Two further faulty backhands follow and whistles and warm cheers greet the Spaniard's first hold.

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    Celia B: Mix scientific precision, extreme physical exertion, athletic artistry and poker like disguise then you have Rafa V Novak.

    *Nadal 0-3 Djokovic

    Early indications that there will be a number of mammoth rallies in this match. Nadal, grunting and scowling, attempting to move his opponent side to side, but the brick wall that is Djokovic is able to withstand everything that comes his way. The Nadal forehand not on song and it's a hold to 15 for the second seed.

    Pat Cash, Former Wimbledon champion on BBC Radio 5 live

    "Djokovic is on an amazing unbeaten run. It's almost like he has something to prove and he wants to say to Nadal that he will be nipping at his heels to get that number one ranking back. But Nadal has never won this tournament and he's one of the greatest players we've ever seen, so that's his motivation."

    Listen to live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live.

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    Louise Childs: the rallies are hypnotic I can't take my eyes of the screen when they start!

    DJOKOVIC BREAKS- Nadal 0-2 Djokovic*

    A rogue flashbulb disturbs Djokovic which means the umpire informs spectators of the 'no flash rule'. The fans hiss at the transgressor, giving us all an peek into pantomime season. Djokovic is not a man in a mood for slap stick, however, as he earns three break points.

    Nadal saves one by pouncing on a cute backhand. The Spaniard, at full sprint, outmanoeuvres his rival with a sumptuous crosscourt backhand volley, but he surrenders on the next point. Djokovic absorbing the pressure and the world number one wilting with a faulty backhand.

    *Nadal 0-1 Djokovic

    "Ready?" asks the umpire. Silence from the crowd. Both players in position. Fingers on the keyboard. Everyone is ready to rock n roll. An early clench of the fist from the Serb as he fires a forehand winner into the corner. The first lengthy rally of the evening and it is Nadal who comes out on top with Djokovic dragging a backhand long for 15-15. From 15-15 to 40-15 and an ace out to the wings is the Serb's coup de grace.

  36. 2031: 

    Nadal and Djokovic are going through the final stages of their warm-up routines. For those of you interested in such things, Djokovic is sporting the all black outfit which he has worn all week. Nadal, on the other hand, has donned an aqua top and light grey shorts (or jade white if you're browsing through paint charts).

    Andrew Castle, Former British number one and BBC Sport expert

    "There are so many tactics at play in this match, I can't wait for it to begin. These two have been present at some of the greatest occasions in our sport in recent years."

  38. 2028: 

    The lights dim, the chimes of Big Ben reverberate around the arena, then there's the slow, thudding of a heartbeat. The smoke machine goes into overdrive, the announcer demands the attention of the "ladeeeees and gentleeeemen". It's theatrical, but that's showbiz, baby.

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    Azan Roberto Piperno: Djokovic has to take back the initiative from Rafa so expect him to come out of the blocks swinging.

    Bennie: I'm puttin my money on Nadal 'cos he would be hungry for his 1st season-ending title in London's O2 Arena.

  40. 2022: 

    As is always the case for grand sporting events the celeb-o-meter (if there's such a thing) is swinging threatening close to the A-list this evening. Ahem. Ringside will be Niall Horan. Niall is a member of One Direction, which is a boy band (or are they called man bands these days?) Former Brazil striker Ronaldo is also there, as are a bunch of Arsenal players, such as Jack Wilshere and Mikel Arteta.

    Piers Newbery, BBC Sport at the 02 in London

    "Spaniards are leaping and cheering out on centre court - and a few in the media room - as David Marrero and Fernando Verdasco upset world number one pairing Bob and Mike Bryan 7-5 6-7 10-7 to win the doubles titles. They are the third Spanish duo to win the season finale following Juan Gisbert and Manuel Orantes in 1975, and Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez in 2012. A good omen for Spanish supporters ahead of the singles final?"

  42. 2013: 

    Perhaps the truth is, this battle is too close to call. Both players are unbeaten in this tournament and both have enjoyed nine victories apiece in the 18 times they have met in finals. Oof it's close.

  43. 2007: 
    Spain's David Marrero (right) and his partner Fernando Verdasco

    There's been some chest bumping on court as David Marrero and Fernando Verdasco have beaten three-time champions Bob and Mike Bryan 7-5 6-7 10-7. That match has held up matters somewhat but hopefully we will get a glimpse of Nadal and Djokovic soon.

  44. 2004: 

    The Spaniard may be accustomed to beating Novak Djokovic, wrestling the last Grand Slam of the season from the second seed and the number one ranking but that doesn't mean the defending champion can't throw some stats back at the magical Mallorcan.

    Djokovic is, well, the defending champion and has won nine matches in a row at the O2 since losing to compatriot Janko Tipsarevic two years ago. Heck, the Serb is unbeaten since that US Open defeat by Nadal and is on an unbeaten run of 21 matches. And when it comes to hard courts, the super Serb is top dog, having got the better of Nadal in 12 of their previous 19 clashes.

  45. 1956: 
    Rafael Nadal

    For those in need of hard cold facts before daring to predict the outcome of this match, it might be helpful to know that Nadal has the upper hand, prevailing in 22 of his 38 ding-dongs with Djokovic. The 27-year-old Spaniard has also beaten the defending champion in three of their five meetings this season (French Open semi-final, Rogers Cup, US Open final).

    Tim Henman, Former British number one and BBC Sport expert

    "It's the ultimate showdown for the final match of the year. It's amazing it's their 39th match against each other, given their ages. It's a fantastic match to watch."

    Russell Fuller, BBC tennis correspondent

    "This will be episode 39 of a series that doesn't look like being cancelled any time soon. It's too wonderfully unpredictable for that. Nadal lost six finals in a row to Djokovic in 2011 before finding a way, either side of injury, to wrestle the tie in his favour. An improved serve, a position closer to the baseline, and a resolve to hit more rally-shortening winners have all paid dividends.

    "His victory in this year's French Open semi-final hit Djokovic very hard, while the defeat in the US Open final made the Serb realise it was time for a change of tack.

    "So far so good - Djokovic took a lot of encouragement from winning their final in Beijing last month, and was in formidable form against Stan Wawrinka in Sunday's semi-final. That's why, indoors, he must start favourite to end the season by notching a 22nd win in a row."

  48. 1947: 
    Tim Henman Q&A on Facebook

    Reegan Stevenson: Do you think Andy Murray will win a Slam again and if so what one?

    Tim Henman: Yes, I definitely think Murray will win another Slam. I would like to see him win in Australia, not necessarily next year, but at some point in the future as he has been so close there. It might be too early for him next year after his back operation.

    Read more of Tim's Q&A on the BBC Sport Facebook page.

    Tim Henman answering questions on Facebook
  49. 1942: 

    A live text commentary wouldn't be a live text commentary without some tennis chit-chat from you so what are you waiting for? Sorry, I didn't mean to be aggressive.

    You can tweet using the hashtag #bbctennis, lob a text to 81111 or visit BBC Sport's Facebook page. Will tonight's match be decided in three and who will be the victor?

    By the way, Tim Henman took part in a Q&A on BBC Sport's Facebook page a couple of hours ago. If you want to find out what the former British number one had to say about this, that and the other then you can visit said Facebook page.

  50. 1937: 

    No two players have met each other on a more regular basis in the Open Era than the men preparing for a season-ending showdown at the O2 this evening but, just because we can, here's a list of the sport's great duels.

    Rafael Nadal v Novak Djokovic - 38 Nadal leads 22-16

    Ivan Lendl v John McEnroe - 36 Lendl leads 21-15

    Boris Becker v Stefan Edberg - 35 Becker leads 25-10

    Ivan Lendl v Jimmy Connors - 35 Lendl leads 22-13

    Pete Sampras v Andre Agassi - 34 Sampras leads 20-14

    John McEnroe v Jimmy Connors 34 McEnroe leads 20-14

  51. 1933: 

    Novak Djokovic has admitted there are "no secrets on court" between him and Rafael Nadal after 38 encounters. "Let's say we know each other quite well," said the Serb as he looked ahead to playing the Spaniard a 39th time.

    Novak Djokovic

    "I hope the crowd will enjoy it because we definitely do on court. It's always a thrilling competition between me and Rafa. The better man will win."

    Piers Newbery, BBC Sport at the 02 in London

    "Stefan Edberg is in the building tonight, Pat Cash arrived earlier, Boris Becker has pretty much taken up residence at the O2 this week, Pippa Middleton is on her way... tennis royalty everywhere you look. In a completely unscientific survey I have accosted, among others, an unsuspecting Barry Cowan outside the restaurant and held intensive talks with Greg Rusedski in the gentlemen's refreshment room, and the verdict has been unanimous - Djokovic to win."

  53. 1925: 

    The stars have aligned for only the fifth time in 44 years to ensure the top two seeds meet head on in the final of this end-of-season closer. World number one Rafael Nadal will capture the only trophy to have eluded him if he masters Novak Djokovic at the O2, but his opponent has a point to prove. For Djokovic, the defending champion, is a man determined to show that the best player in the world doesn't always end the year as world number one.

  54. 1920: 

    Hello! Six men have been chewed up and spat out, but two have dodged the booby-traps and still remain. One, either the world number one or the defending champion, will be crowned ATP Tour Finals champion. Welcome to live text commentary of the ATP Tour Finals, erm, final between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.

    Novak Djokovic (left) with Rafael Nadal
  55. 1915: 

    If only Tom had chosen another pursuit, opted for a quiet life and left Jerry alone to rule the roost and collect all the cheese a mouse could ever need.

    Yet on great rivalries greatness is built. One would have been the undisputed top banana without the other, but what would have been the fun in that? In attempting to outsmart each other they excelled, transcended a run-of-the-mill cat-and-mouse rivalry and will be remembered not only by their generation, but by the ones that follow.

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