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Djokovic vs Tsitsipas ATP Madrid live streaming, preview and tips - Djokovic targets first win over Tsitsipas and record-equalling 33rd Masters 1000 title

Andrew Hendrie in ATP Tour 12 May 2019
  • Novak Djokovic vs Stefanos Tsitsipas is live from Madrid at 6.30pm local time on Sunday (5.30pm BST)
  • Tsitsipas won their only previous meeting at the Canada Masters last year
Novak Djokovic (PA Images)

Novak Djokovic aims for a record-equalling 33rd ATP Masters 1000 title in Madrid on Sunday when he takes on electric young gun Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final.

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Into his first final since winning the Australian Open at the start of the season, World No. 1 Novak Djokovic targets a third Madrid Masters crown on Sunday against rising World No. 8 Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Is Djokovic peaking at exactly the right time? It certainly seems that way. The Serbian played a phenomenal tournament at the Australian Open as he crushed Rafael Nadal in the final to win the tournament for a record seventh time and give himself the opportunity to win a second ‘Nole Slam’ at the upcoming French Open. However, Djokovic would struggle after departing Melbourne, losing early at Masters 1000 events in Indian Wells, Miami and Monte-Carlo, casting doubt as to whether he could find his best form in time for Roland Garros.

Those doubts were swept aside emphatically in the Madrid semi-finals on Saturday, with Djokovic playing his best match since January as he dispatched Barcelona champion Dominic Thiem in two tiebreaks. In a gruelling war of attrition from the baseline, Djokovic managed to outlast the Austrian enforcer 7-6(2) 7-6(4) in a battle that lasted two hours and 22 minutes. Benefiting from a walkover against Marin Cilic in the quarter-finals and with a quality win like that now under his belt, Djokovic comes into the final in the best possible shape and headspace.

"I played the best match of the clay-court season so far, for me, against arguably the best tennis player in the world on this surface, so far [this season]," said Djokovic. "[Dominic] had an amazing tournament in Barcelona and here he beat Roger yesterday in a thrilling match. So he was in form... I just managed to hold my nerves and play the best when it was most needed."

Djokovic can equal Nadal’s record of 33 Masters 1000 titles if he can emerge triumphant on Sunday. Every time he’s made the Madrid final he’s come away with the title, beating Nadal in 2011 and Andy Murray in 2016. Last year, Djokovic suffered a surprise defeat in the second round to Kyle Edmund, but the Serbian was still working his way back from injury, and before 2018 was done, he was back to the champions corner and World No. 1, taking home the Wimbledon and U.S. Open titles, along with Masters 1000 trophies in Cincinnati and Shanghai as he became the first player in history to finish the season at No. 1 after dropping out the top 20.

Now the clear No. 1 in the world, Djokovic will lead Nadal by over 4,000 points if he captures the Madrid title. It’s been a spectacular last 12 months for the 31-year-old and the best could be yet to come. But to complete a hat-trick of Madrid titles, he will need to do something he hasn’t done yet in his career, and that’s beat his 20-year-old opponent.

Stefanos Tsitsipas (PA Images)
It’s also been a whirlwind last 12 months of Stefanos Tsitsipas - and on Saturday he made history, becoming the youngest player to complete a set of victories over Djokovic, Roger Federer and Nadal when he conquered the Spaniard in a thrilling semi-final duel inside the Caja Magica. Tsitsipas went toe-to-toe with Nadal from the baseline and came out on top by a 6-4 2-6 6-3 scoreline to secure one of the biggest wins of his career. Tsitsipas is now on a eight-match winning streak after winning his third career title in Estoril last week and beating Adrian Mannarino, Fernando Verdasco and defending champion Alexander Zverev before his landmark triumph over Nadal.

"It means the world. I'm really happy that I proved myself today. I played one of my best games this year," Tsitsipas said. "I'm really happy that I'm fighting, I'm in the zone. I'm enjoying tennis at its fullest potential. It's really nice to be able to play this way. Today's victory is just an unbelievable feeling."

Tsitsipas is into his second Masters 1000 final after he made his first in Canada last year - the tournament where he also made history, becoming the youngest player to beat four top 10 players in a row, with Djokovic included in that list of scalps. Since then, Tsitsipas has gone from strength to strength, becoming the first Greek to win an ATP titles when he prevailed in Stockholm, and after rounding out 2018 by winning the Next Gen ATP Finals title in Milan, he reached his first Grand Slam semi-final at the Australian Open, claiming that shock win over Federer in the fourth round. Tsitsipas went on to win the title in Marseille and finish runner-up in Dubai, and although he was relatively quiet for the next couple of months in Indian Wells, Miami, Monte-Carlo and Barcelona, he’s well and truly back to his best as he prepares to face Djokovic in the Madrid final.

As mentioned, Tsitsipas leads their head-to-head 1-0, beating Djokovic in Canada last year, but it will take an enormous performance to double that advantage on Sunday. Although both players were on court for just about the same amount of time in their respective semi-finals, Tsitsipas finished his clash with Nadal at midnight, and coming back less than 24 hours later to meet another titan of tennis is an extremely tough task. Tsitsipas’ movement and athleticism has been at the forefront of his success, and after beating Nadal on clay, anything is possible. However, Djokovic looks to be back in the mood after a lacklustre few months, and if he is operating at the level he was when he took out Thiem, he will prove very hard to beat. Tsitsipas will have the adrenaline pumping, but I think Djokovic will make a statement before the French Open and win a 33rd Masters 1000 title on Sunday.

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Djokovic vs Tsitsipas ATP Madrid live streaming, preview and tips - Djokovic targets first win over Tsitsipas and record-equalling 33rd Masters 1000 title

Novak Djokovic aims for a record-equalling 33rd ATP Masters 1000 title in Madrid on Sunday when he takes on electric young gun Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final.

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