Novak Djokovic wins Cincinnati Masters 1000

Novak Djokovic, in the Cincinnati Masters 1000 final, against Canada's Milos Raonic on August 29.

World number one Novak Djokovic, still undefeated in 2020, won the Masters 1000 from Cincinnati (relocated to New York due to the coronavirus) on Saturday, August 29, beating Canadian Milos Raonic 1-6, 6-3, 6- in the final. 4. The Serbian, more than ever a favorite of the US Open which begins Monday at Flushing Meadows, joins Rafael Nadal as the record holder for the number of Masters 1000 victories, with 35 titles. And he is the first to have won the nine tournaments in this category at least twice each.

Something to delight him, but not to the point of being sated: his primary goal, after six months without tennis, coronavirus requires, will obviously be to add an 18e Grand Slam title in two weeks at the US Open, where he has already won three times, to get closer to Nadal (19) and Roger Federer (20) both forfeited for the event.

The planets therefore seem to be aligned for “Nole”. He concluded his week of preparation on concrete perfectly by respecting the logic against Raonic. The 30e world has never beaten him, in eleven confrontations.

The Canadian, however, was not unworthy. With his overpowered and very precise serve, he was quick to remove the first round in half an hour, also taking advantage of many unforced errors (4 double faults) from his opponent, clearly not in the game.

Zero losses in 2020

Then came back the images of the day before, those of a “Djoko” who was not on his plate when he concluded his half against the Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut, and complaining of the stomach, after having had to involve the physiotherapist to manipulate his neck in the middle of the second set.

The Serbian had contracted Covid-19 in June as part of the Adria Tour, a charity tournament in the Balkans that he organized without physical distancing and which drew criticism. On the Louis-Armstrong court, however, he did not appear physically borrowed in the final, despite the grueling three hours spent the day before.

He just had to get into his match, which he did by taking Raonic’s serve, on his first break point at 4-2, and pushing him to a third set in which the Canadian reacted well to entry, breaking to lead 2-0.

His hopes of finally defeating the one who had beaten him every time in their first ten confrontations quickly vanished. Djokovic immediately recovered, first by sharp returns of service, then by imposing longer rallies on Raonic, to line up four games in a row (4-2). After clearing a 5-4 breakout ball thanks to a huge defense punctuated by a new angry cry, the Serbian closed the deal to win his 23e consecutive game this season and pocket the 80e title of his career.

In 48 hours, he will start his US Open campaign in a night session, against Bosnian Damir Dzumhur (107e worldwide).

Read also US Open: Simona Halep gives up in turn, slaughter in the women’s table

The World with AFP


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