Djokovic Tries To Defend Canadian Open And Win First Title Since Miami
Novak Djokovic has a great chance tonight to get back in the win column. The Serb who hasn’t won a singles title since four months ago in Miami meets Richard Gasquet for the Toronto Canadian Open title.
In the inclement weather yesterday, Djokovic dodged the rain drops to knock out countryman Janko Tipsarevic 6-4, 6-1 in the semifinals.
“It really could have gone either way, especially in the first set with the several interruptions because of rain; it was very important for both of us to start off well after those delays,” Djokovic said. “You could feel that there was a lot of tension going on and we both were trying to find the rhythm on the court.”
It’s also Djokovic first tour final since the French Open and Novak has lost only two matches this year on hardcourts winning his last 10 on his favorite surface.
Novak is also trying to become the third player in the Open Era to win the Canadian Open three times, having won it in 2007 and last year.
As for Gasquet, he ripped through Tomas Berdych, Mardy Fish and yesterday John Isner 7-6, 6-3 to reach his second Canadian Open final after a 2006 loss to Roger Federer.
“The key of the match was to return well, and I did it. I tried to return all the time to make him play,” said Gasquet who hasn’t won a title since 2010 Nice. “Then I like to defend. But of course I had to do a big tie-break, and I did it. I played incredible in the tie-break and then I felt well.”
Isner then withdrew from Cincinnati with a back injury.
Djokovic has won six of seven career meetings with Gasquet including four straight and nine consecutive sets.
“Richard has been playing well this week,” Djokovic said. “He wants to step into the court tomorrow and have nothing to lose and is motivated and wants to win. I expect a tough match.”
And this week Djokovic’s taken care of his serve having only been broken once this week, in second set vs. Haas (42 of 43 games held, 98%) while saving 21 of 22 break points (95%).
Win or lose, Djokovic will move ahead of idle Federer in the 2012 ATP Ranking point standings tomorrow but will remain No. 2 in the overall 52-week rankings.
The last 14 ATP Masters titles have been won by one of the Big Four since Robin Soderling took Paris at the end of the 2010.
In Montreal, the rain-delayed women’s semifinal pits Li Na against Lucie Safarova followed by Petra Kvitova against Caroline Wozniacki. Wozniacki’s boyfriend, Rory McIlroy was the leader earlier today at the PGA Championships.
The women’s final will be played Monday night at 7pm. The men’s final Sunday at 7pm in Toronto on ESPN2.
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