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

Novak Djokovic earns milestone ahead of Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer

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

Novak pulled off 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 scored his 33rd hard-court win in 34 games in 2016. He played well in the first set and prevailed in the second set to celebrate the fourth Canada Open crown.

Djokovic toppled Nishikori for the ninth straight game after shocking defeat in the 2014 US Open semifinals. The Serb served with 76% and faced two break points in the sixth game of the second set when Kei pulled the break back.

Apart from that, the Japanese didn’t have any return chances which put him under pressure in his service games. Kei couldn’t take it as Novak outplayed him from the baseline, especially in the first set. Nishikori improved his second serve in set number two, staying in the rallies only to lose ground at crucial moments.

Novak’s tennis in the opening set was out of this world. He served 85% and threw up some great shots that didn’t give Kei a chance. Djokovic won the first ten points in his games as an excellent omen for his overall performance.

Nishikori kept in touch early before Djokovic went 4-2 in game six with 15 breaks. The Serb served well for the rest of the game and took the lead 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 was little chance the match would last too long as he was too good. Suddenly, Nishikori woke up and started playing much better. He took 12 of the following 14 points to take a 4-3 lead for the first time.

Djokovic couldn’t keep his level from the first set and a half, which was hard to expect. He made more mistakes and Nishikori finally got some breathing room. 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 cues for a 6-5 lead, but Novak deflected them and converted his first break chance to take the lead. The Serb served for the Game 12 win, securing third match points to emerge at the top and put his name in the record books as the first player with 30 Masters 1000 trophies.

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