After a 3-month drought, Novak Djokovic got back in the win column with a thorough 6-3, 6-4 win over Stefanos Tsitsipas in the Madrid final on Sunday.
Djokovic didn’t drop a set en route to his record-equaling 33rd title at the Masters level and today’s win marked his 200th against a Top 10 player, avenging a loss to the Greek in Canada last summer
“These are the best tournaments, biggest tournaments we have in our sport, in the ATP, of course alongside the Grand Slams,” Djokovic said. “This is as important and as good as it gets.
“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. 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.”
Djokovic, who never faced a break point, broke Tstisipas early in the first and again at 4-all in the second as the 20-year-old could never really make any headway off the ground or against the Serb’s serve.
“Obviously I needed to step in,” Djokovic said. “He’s very talented. He beat Rafa yesterday and I think they finished the match around midnight. He had a very late night. I could see he wasn’t as dynamic in his movements as he was last night. That’s probably due to the long match he had. But he’s had a terrific week and it’s a big win obviously for me today and in this tournament. I’m really looking forward to continuing this streak in Rome.”
It was also Djokovic third title in Madrid (he’s 3-0 in finals) and 74th overall, first since Melbourne.
Tsitsipas, who had knocked off Rafael Nadal a day earlier, saw his 8-match win streak come to an end.
“He deserved the victory, he played unbelievable. I couldn’t do much,” Tsitsipas said. “Physically I was not there. My legs were not coping with my mind. Completely I could feel the fatigue and this soreness, not just in my legs, but everywhere in my body. And yes, he played quite smart. He tried moving me around the court. He knew I had a tough match last night, so he took advantage of that knowing that he’s going to have to make me run and suffer more and I just didn’t have solutions.”
Both players now head to Rome for the their final French preparation and for the World No. 1, it puts him back in a good frame of mind after a disappointing stretch.
“I feel like this tournament win was very important for my level of confidence because after Australian Open I wasn’t playing my best, I wasn’t finding the right game and the consistency on the court in Indian Wells, Miami and Monte Carlo,” Djokovic said. “I felt like I was close and needed a little bit of a push, so to say.
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