Novak Djokovic hammered Rafael Nadal 6-3, 6-4 to defend his title at the World Tour Finals on Monday by winning his 22nd consecutive match.

Nadal saved two match points over two games, finally sending a return just out as Djokovic raised his hands in joyous celebration, with the Serb winning on the back of three breaks of serve and 21 winners after 95 minutes.

“This is a great place to finish the year, in a city that nurtures the tennis tradition for a long time,” said Djokovic.

Djokovic was never truly in danger against a flat-footed Nadal, made to react instead of attack from the start of the one-way contest and occasionally flexing the suspect knees that kept him out of the sport for seven months in 2012-13.

“This has for sure been the most emotional season of my career,” said Nadal. “A year ago I was injured and could not be here.

“But to play the last match of the season in this stadium is fantastic. Novak played much better than me today and I had no chance.”

Djokovic came out firing, earning a break on the first service game of Nadal to immediately lead 2-1. The Serb looked to be motoring when his Spanish opponent came to life, breaking for 2-3 after Djokovic saved break points.

But Djokovic broke again in the penultimate game for the set for 5-3 and served out a 6-3 winner to take early command in front of 17,500 fans.

He got ahead in the second against a malfunctioning Nadal.

Djokovic again broke in the third game, taking a 2-1 lead and stretched to 3-1 with a love game.

Nadal stayed in touch 3-4, with Djokovic then forcing his opponent to drive a forehand low into the net for a 5-3 lead before closing out two games later.

More In: Tennis | Sport