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Djokovic Beats Tsitsipas In Madrid, Ties Nadal For Masters 1000 Record

Novak Djokovic of Serbia poses for the photographers after his victory against Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece (unseen) during their Mutua Madrid Open tennis final game at Caja Magica, in Madrid, Spain, 12 May 2019. EPA-EFE/KIKO HUESCA
Novak Djokovic of Serbia poses for the photographers after his victory against Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece (unseen) during their Mutua Madrid Open tennis final game at Caja Magica, in Madrid, Spain, 12 May 2019. EPA-EFE/KIKO HUESCA

 

 

By Ricky Dimon

 

Novak Djokovic tied Rafael Nadal’s record of 33 career Masters 1000 titles when he triumphed at the Mutua Madrid Open on Sunday evening. Djokovic defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-3, 6-4 in the championship match, holding all 10 of his service game without facing a break point over one hour and 32 minutes of competition.

 

“These are the best tournaments, biggest tournaments we have in our sport, in the ATP, of course alongside the Grand Slams,” the world No. 1 said. “This is as important and as good as it gets.”

 

Djokovic was as good as it gets in Madrid, where he recaptured something the lines of his Australian Open form–thus emerging from a slump that extended from the Indian Wells Masters through Monte-Carlo. The top-seeded Serb mostly eased through two matches and then followed up a quarterfinal walkover from Marin Cilic to scrape past Barcelona champion Dominic Thiem 7-6(2), 7-6(4). He raised his level even higher to get past Tsitsipas, who had stunned Nadal in the semifinals.

 

Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece in action during final match against Novak Djokovic of Serbia at the Mutua Madrid Open tennis tournament, in Madrid, Spain, 12 May 2019.  EPA-EFE/JAVIER LIZON

Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece in action during final match against Novak Djokovic of Serbia at the Mutua Madrid Open tennis tournament, in Madrid, Spain, 12 May 2019. EPA-EFE/JAVIER LIZON

“He deserved the victory; he played unbelievable,” Tsitsipas praised. “I couldn’t do much. Physically I was not there. My legs were not coping with my mind. Completely I could feel the fatigue and this soreness, not just in my legs, but everywhere in my body. And yes, he played quite smart. He tried moving me around the court. He knew I had a tough match last night, so he took advantage of that knowing that he’s going to have to make me run and suffer more and I just didn’t have solutions.”

 

“I’m very pleased,” Djokovic concluded. “I was saying after yesterday’s semifinal win that it was a very, very important win for me for my confidence. I wasn’t playing my best tennis after Australia so I was looking to regain the momentum this week. I started off well. I didn’t drop a set the entire tournament, so I’m very pleased. I played some of my best tennis here.”

 

Djokovic will hope for more of the same at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. He is joined in a strong field by Nadal, Thiem, Tsitsipas, Roger Federer, and almost all of the other top players.

 

Federer had not been expected to play, but his name was still in the field when the draw ceremony took place on Friday and he soon confirmed his participation following a Madrid quarterfinal loss to Thiem.

 

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.

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