Djokovic Overcomes Illness, Raonic To Win Second Cincinnati Masters, 35th Of Career

by Staff | August 29th, 2020, 10:13 pm

Novak Djokovic struggled with an illness last night after a 3-hour marathon win over Roberto Bautista Agut. Today in the final of the Cincinnati Masters played in New York, Djokovic looked sluggish early but then turned it on to deny Milos Raonic of his Masters title with a 1-6, 6-3, 6-4.

The win gives Djokovic a 35th career Masters title which equals Rafael Nadal’s record haul. And his second Cincinnati crown gives him a second Grandmaster sweep.

“I would like to thank my team for hanging in there. Tough match yesterday, three hours,” Djokovic said on court. “I would like to take this opportunity to say hello to all the Cincinnati fans and tennis fans around the world. We miss you guys. It feels quite strange to be in these conditions and circumstances, but we all hope for a better tomorrow and you are one of the biggest reasons why we play professional tennis, so hopefully we can see you very, very soon.”

Djokovic improves to 23-0 on the year. He’s now won his last 26 matches dating back to the ATP finals.

“I am trying to make the most of my career, trying to use this time when I feel that I am physically, mentally, emotionally, game-wise at peak and playing some of the best tennis that I have ever played,” Djokovic said. “Going on an unbeaten run so far this year obviously brings even more confidence each match.”

The Serb, though, made quite a turnaround in less than 24 hours to recover from his Friday issues and be able to hoist his 80th title.

“In the past three, four days, I struggled a little bit with my physical condition, but I managed to pull this one through,” Djokovic said on court. “It was a very close encounter all the way through the last shot. It was anybody’s game.”

Early on it looked like the Canadian would finally have his day. Raonic, who was 0-10 against Djokovic and 0-3 in Masters finals, was fresh and in form. Blasting serves and forehands with Djokovic having little in the way of an answer, winning just three total points on his second serve.

In the second, Djokovic got a read on the Raonic serve and that added pressure created cracks in the Canadian’s game. Raonic’s forehand let him down as Djokovic began finding the range with his serve, holding comfortably.

In the third, Raonic stopped the momentum going up a break. But perhaps tasting his biggest career title, Raonic couldn’t sustain it as the Serb took six of the last eight games to win it.

“The first set obviously he was playing great, I made some double faults, handed two breaks to him,” Djokovic said. “It’s always hard playing Milos. He has one of the best serves in the game, puts so much pressure on your service games. He steps in, he’s going more for his shots from the back of the court.”

Raonic had some humor despite the setback.

“What is that, 23-0? Honestly if I start the year off 3-0, I’m pretty happy,” Raonic told Djokovic during ceremony.

Djokovic will play Monday night at the US Open, Raonic on Tuesday.

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8 Comments for Djokovic Overcomes Illness, Raonic To Win Second Cincinnati Masters, 35th Of Career

vk Says:

Congrats to Nole and his fans. Double masters sweep. Wow!! And 80 titles. Stretching the lead on the big titles.. consolidating the no.1 position as he chases sampras and roger.. surpasses agassi in hard court wins..

Giles Says:

^^^ ROFL. Yep, and he’s done all this while the world is in the middle of a pandemic and the tour not at full capacity.What a faking genius he is no? Lolololol. 😱😱😱😱😱

Simon Says:


Its a good thing no body cares for this ‘Djokovic’ except a hand full of people on tx and some people in Serbia lol!

batlord Says:


So he played one tournament with the tour not at full capacity. About to be 2 if you count the US Open. It is Novak’s fault people are not playing? He can’t help who played and who does not. When Rafa wins the French will you be singing the same song?

Sg1 Says:

If Rafa wins slam #20 at RG without Novak and roger, does that title get an French title get an asterisk?

Sg1 Says:

Sorry for the bad grammar but you know what I mean.

Sg1 Says:

Was wondering if Novak’s illness was related to Covid after effects. Guess we’ll never know

chrisford1 Says:

All credit to the players, staff, organizers trying to return the sport to life, even if they make mistakes along the way. No credit to the cowering critics like Kyrgios.
Said much better by Theodore Roosevelt, after he left the Presidency:

“”It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

Bravery and a willingness to take risks, to fail, to strive again are among the greatest qualities in people.

For Kyrgios, another, shorter and pithier remark addressed to cynics. (Thinking of Giles as I write it)
““The poorest way to face life is to face it with a sneer.”

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