Monday, August 31, 2020

Novak Djokovic wins estern & Southern Open Title

Novak Djokovic wins estern & Southern Open Title
Novak Djokovic wins estern & Southern Open Title

Novak Djokovic beat Milos Raonic 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 to win the 2020 Western & Southern Open title.

Raonic rolled through the first set in 30 minutes. Djokovic made the most of his first break chance in the sixth game of the second set and then held twice to force a third set.

Raonic broke to lead the third set 2-0 when Djokovic sent a forehand long, but Djokovic broke back at love, Raonic netting a backhand on the final point, and broke again in the fifth game, seizing a 3-2 edge when the Canadian netted a forehand.

Djokovic held serve from there to claim the crown after two hours when Raonic netted a forehand.

"It was not easy, definitely, especially the last three, four days," Djokovic said. "Has been challenging mentally and emotionally for me to stay sane and be able to compete on the highest level and win this title."

Djokovic credited physiotherapy for getting him able to play after a grueling three-hour marathon semi-final victory Friday over Roberto Bautista Agut.

"Was a bit slow at the beginning, but I thought I did well, considering the form that Milos is in," Djokovic said. "He's serving rockets on the court and it's really hard to return.

"You need all the freshness mentally and all the focus you can possibly have. So I did struggle with that, I must say."

Djokovic has had to deal with a leadership role in a group trying to develop a players union.

"It was not the most ideal situation for me, to be competing in the last four of a big tournament and have to deal with a lot of stuff off the court, but those were the circumstances. I accepted them," Djokovic said.

"I was fortunate to get the title, but it's a great lesson learned."

The victory gives Djokovic a double career sweep of all nine ATP Masters Series titles while Raonic has gone winless in 63 Masters Series starts.

"He does what Novak does. He puts in a few more balls. He makes things a little more difficult," Raonic said. "First few moments there I was stepping up, but there were a few lapses that I had, and he made the most of it."

Info from AFP
Photo: Frank Franklin II / Associated Press