World No.1 Novak Djokovic claimed a third Madrid Open crown by defeating Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-3 6-4 in Sunday’s final, equalling Rafael Nadal’s record for the most ATP Masters 1000 titles.
The Serbian made the perfect start under blue skies and soaring temperatures in the Spanish capital, racing into a 4-1 lead as he broke Tsitsipas’s first service game.
The 15-time Grand Slam winner was in complete command, seeing out the set as Tsitsipas rarely threatened to re-produce the stunning display he had conjured up on Saturday when he knocked out home favourite Nadal.
Tsitsipas, who is enjoying a breakthrough season, rallied in the second set with the backing of the crowd but Djokovic, who not dropped a service game all week in the Spanish capital, broke in the ninth game to go 5-4 up, before serving out the match.
Djokovic, who triumphed in 2011 and 2016, equalled Nadal’s record of 33 ATP Masters 1000 titles as he won in one hour 30 minutes.
“These are the best tournaments, biggest tournaments we have in our sport, in the ATP, of course alongside the Grand Slams,” said Djokovic, who did not drop a set all week in Madrid.
“This is as important and as good as it gets. I’m very pleased. I was saying after yesterday’s semifinal win that it was a very, very important win for me for my confidence.”
Djokovic had not won a title since clinching the Australian Open in January but now looks in fine form with the season’s second major, at Roland Garros, starting on 26 May.
“I wasn’t playing my best tennis after Australia so I was looking to regain the momentum this week,” he added.
“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.”
Reflecting on fatigued Tsitsipas’ display, Djokovic admitted: “He’s very talented, he beat Rafa yesterday, he had a late night and he wasn’t as dynamic in his movement and that was probably due to his long match.”
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