Canada Flashback: Novak Djokovic earns milestone before Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer



by   |  VIEW 9858

Canada Flashback: Novak Djokovic earns milestone before Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer

World no. 1 Novak Djokovic played well in Toronto 2016. Novak ousted Gilles Muller, Radek Stepanek, Tomas Berdych and Gael Monfils to advance into the title clash, his eighth of the season. Djokovic bounced back following an early Wimbledon loss and set the final meeting with Kei Nishikori.

Novak earned a 6-3, 7-5 triumph in 83 minutes to lift the trophy and become the first player with 30 Masters 1000 titles. The Serb delivered his 33rd hard-court win from 34 matches in 2016. He played well in the opener and prevailed in the second set to celebrate the fourth Canada Open crown.

Djokovic toppled Nishikori for the ninth time in a row following that shocking 2014 US Open semi-final loss. The Serb served at 76% and faced two break points in the second set's sixth game when Kei pulled the break back.

Apart from that, the Japanese had no return chances, which put him under pressure in his service games. Kei could not endure it, as Novak outplayed him from the baseline, especially in the first set. Nishikori improved his second serve in the second set and stayed in the rallies, only to lose ground in the pivotal moments.

Novak's tennis in the opening set was out of this world. He served at 85% and displayed some sublime shots that left Kei without any chance. Djokovic won the first ten points in his games as an excellent omen of his overall performance.

Nishikori stayed in touch early on before Djokovic broke at 15 in game six for a 4-2 lead. The Serb served well in the remaining game and claimed the opener 6-3.

Novak Djokovic became the first player with 30 Masters 1000 titles.

The second set started with an early break for Novak at 1-1.

At that moment, there were slim chances that the match would go on for too long, as he was too good. Suddenly, Nishikori woke up and started to play much better. He took 12 of the following 14 points to get in front for the first time at 4-3.

Djokovic could not maintain his level from the first set and a half, which was hard to expect. He made more errors, and Nishikori finally got some breathing space. Novak served to stay in the set while trailing 5-4 and did it in style with a love service game, shifting the pressure to the other side.

Kei had two game points for a 6-5 lead, but Novak fended them off and converted his first break chance to move in front. The Serb served for the victory in game 12 and seized the third match points to emerge at the top, putting his name on the record books as the first player with 30 Masters 1000 trophies.