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Novak Djokovic claims third Madrid Open title: World No. 1 stops Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-3 6-4 to win his 33rd Masters 1000 crown

Leye Aduloju in ATP Tour 12 May 2019
  • Novak Djokovic claimed his third Madrid Open title with a 6-3 6-4 victory over Stefanos Tsitsipas
  • Djokovic equals Rafael Nadal's record of 33 Masters 1000 titles
Novak Djokovic.(Photo: AntoineCouvercelle/Panoramic)

Novak Djokovic claimed his third Madrid Open title with a 6-3 6-4 victory over Greek young gun, Stefanos Tsitsipas on Sunday.

World No. 1, Djokovic picks up his second title of the season- his first since the Australian Open in January- and he joins Rafael Nadal on top of the Masters 1000 list with 33 titles.

“These are the best tournaments, biggest tournaments we have in our sport, in the ATP, of course alongside the Grand Slams", Djokovic said after his win. "This is as important and as good as it gets."

There had been question marks over Djokovic's form heading in the tournament, as he had managed an ordinary 4-3 run since the Australian Open, falling before the quarter finals at Indian Wells and Miami, and losing to Daniil Medvedev in the last eight in Monte Carlo, but the Serbian was closer to his best in Madrid, claiming the title without dropping a set.

Djokovic eased his way into the tournament with victories over Taylor Fritz and Jeremy Chardy. He then benefited from a walkover against Marin Cilic, before producing two excellent wins over Dominic Thiem and Tsitsipas to claim the title.

Tsitsipas had produced terrific victories over third seed, Alexander Zverev and second seed, Rafael Nadal to reach his second Masters 1000 final, but he found the world No. 1 a hurdle too high, falling to the Serbian in an hour and 30 minutes.

Serving at 68% for the match, Djokovic won 78% of points on his first serve, and did not face a single break point throughout the contest. He carved out five break points on Tsitsipas' serve, breaking once in each set to record his first victory over the young Greek, avenging the defeat he suffered to the Greek in Toronto last season.

The Serbian made the perfect start, getting the early break in the second game off a Tsitsipas forehand error, and while Tsitsipas showed flashes of brilliance, constantly employing the drop shot to move Djokovic off the baseline, the top seed was largely in control, closing out the set after 40 minutes.

Tsitsipas did well to fight off two break points in the third game of the second set as he stayed with Djokovic through the first eight games, but the Serbian would eventually have his way. A superb backhand pass down the line brought up two more break points for Djokovic at 4-4, and he got the break after another Tsitsipas forehand error.

Having looked so secure on serve all through the contest, Djokovic encountered some duress while serving for the title, taken to deuce for the first time as he squandered a 40-15 lead. Another match point came and went, but the world No. 1 finally got over the line, putting away an short forehand winner on his fourth match point to win the Madrid crown.

“I'm very pleased. I was saying after yesterday's semi-final win that it was a very, very important win for me for my confidence”, Djokovic said. “I wasn't playing my best tennis after Australia so I was looking to regain the momentum this week. I started off well. I didn't drop a set the entire tournament, so I'm very pleased. I played some of my best tennis here."

Despite the defeat, Tsitsipas can look back at a superb week, and the rising Greek will be rewarded with a new career-high ranking of No. 7 on Monday, while Djokovic extends his already sizeable advantage on top of the world rankings.

Both men turn their attentions to this week's Rome Masters, as the build-up to the French Open continues.

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Novak Djokovic claims third Madrid Open title: World No. 1 stops Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-3 6-4 to win his 33rd Masters 1000 crown

Novak Djokovic defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-3 6-4 to win the Madrid Open title on Sunday.

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