I wonder how much the tournament director paid Djokovic to lose a set to Mugro to make it look somewhat competitive.
You're wrong there. I think the fact that it was an exhibition event freed Almagro, he felt less pressure and he really went for his shots. He was hitting the ball so hard. He fired like 15-20 aces. He was keeping Novak really far behind the baseline with his one-handed back-hands: they were like bullets. He was in the zone and it was great to see.
But they also mixed it with jokes: at some point Nole challenged a call on Nico's behalf and then asked Pascal Maria: "if it's wrong, who'll lose a challenge, Nico or me'". People were laughing, dancing, excited, in silence, in awe.
The match was at some point a practice between friends, then it had the atmosphere of a grand slam match, then a Davis Cup match with people shouting, then 2 friends fooling about and playing trick hots, back to a seriosu match, it had everything...
The organisers must be very happy: over 2 and a half hours of high quality tennis entertainment, and I would definitely recommend anybody to watch the highlights of this match. Nole wasn't at his very best, but he was pretty good, and Nico was playing the best tennis he's capable of, if only he was more consistent and more mentally strong. Like Gasquet: people say he plays much better when he's practicing and feels pressure-free.