Monte Carlo Flashback: Novak Djokovic tops Tomas Berdych and wins title

Novak Djokovic claimed his second Monte Carlo title within three years in 2015

by Jovica Ilic
Monte Carlo Flashback: Novak Djokovic tops Tomas Berdych and wins title

Novak Djokovic claimed his second Monte Carlo title within three years in 2015. In the semi-final, an in-form Serb took down Rafael Nadal and set the title clash against Tomas Berdych. The Czech gave everything against the world's best player before Djokovic prevailed 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 after two hours and 43 minutes.

Thus, Djokovic claimed all four notable titles since the start of the season. He became the first player with the Australian Open, Indian Wells, Miami and Monte Carlo on his tally in a single year. Monte Carlo was Novak's fourth consecutive Masters 1000 crown, extending his dominance at that level and matching Roger Federer's 23 Masters 1000 titles.

It was one of the toughest challenges for the Serb against the Czech in their one-sided rivalry, winning two points more and prevailing with an extra break on his tally. Serving at only 44%, Tomas faced 14 break chances and suffered five breaks.

He grabbed four out of ten opportunities on the return and fell short in a battle that saw over 90 unforced errors, as neither could find the rhythm. Berdych stayed in touch with Djokovic in the quickest and most extended rallies but lost ground a bit in the mid-range exchanges with five to eight strokes.

The Czech lost momentum after taking the second set and could not bounce back from 4-0 down in the decider. Novak lost serve at 15 in the encounter's opening game, and Tomas hed at 15 to cement the advantage and move 2-0 in front.

Hitting with depth and precision, Berdych forced Djokovic's error in the fourth game to remain in front before spraying a forehand mistake two games later to suffer a break and bring Novak back to 3-3. With momentum on his side, Djokovic stole the rival's serve in the eighth game to move in front before netting a forehand while serving for the set in the next one to keep the Czech in contention.

Novak Djokovic prevailed over Tomas Berdych in Monte Carlo 2015.

Tomas' efforts were in vain, though, as he lost serve once again at 5-6 to hand the set to Novak after 53 minutes. As usual against the rivals from the top, the Czech could not find the right shots when he needed them the most.

The rain halted the action for over an hour after the second set's fifth game. Berdych survived the first game when they returned to stay on the positive side. The Czech gained a break in the next one after spreading Djokovic around the baseline and held with a forehand winner for a 5-3 lead.

Berdych secured the set with another comfortable hold in game ten for 6-4, gathering a boost and forcing a decider. From 40-15 up, Tomas lost four straight points on serve in the third set's second game after a forehand error.

He sprayed another mistake from his backhand in the next one to find himself 3-0 down. Djokovic secured another break in game four with his strong defense to extend the advantage before losing serve a few minutes later thanks to Berdych's smash winner.

Tomas fended off two break chances in the next game and fired a backhand down the line winner at 2-4 to earn a break opportunity that could have changed things completely. Djokovic saved it with a service winner and held with another to bring the game home and open a crucial 5-2 gap.

Berdych saved a match point with a smash winner on his serve in game eight before Novak sealed the deal with a service winner a few minutes later to lift the second Monte Carlo trophy in three years.

Monte Carlo Novak Djokovic Tomas Berdych