Djokovic Rolls To 19th Straight Win Over Monfils, Alcaraz Gets Rainy Revenge On Paul At Cincinnati Masters

by Staff | August 18th, 2023, 12:38 am

In the big match of the day at the Cincinnati Masters world No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz had his revenge on American Tommy Paul with a bruising 7-6(8-6), 6-7(0-7), 6-3 victory.

The first two sets took well over two hours alone, and then the rains came as the match was stopped and then nearly started 3 more times before finally getting completed.

Paul had break leads in the first and the second but neither player could consistently hold serve and both played punishing points from the baseline.

Alcaraz, who lost to Paul last week at the Canadian Open Masters in Toronto, had three match points slip in the second, but before the rains got a break in the third and then held on.

“It was a really tough match. We were playing a really close match before the rain came. But I think I did pretty well the wait in the gym, warming up,” Alcaraz said to the ATP after the 3 hour, 10 minute win.

“I told everyone that I really wanted [to win], since I lost in Toronto. I came here in Cincinnati and I’m really happy with the level. I think I’m getting better and better. I’m really happy to be in the quarterfinals here.”

In the evening, Novak Djokovic rolled to his 19th straight win with no defeats against Gael Monfils 6-3, 6-2 in just 68 minutes.

Monfils won just four of 26 points on second serve.

“I just managed to hold my serve really comfortably. I think I was hitting the spots well, and just made him play,” said Djokovic. “He made a few unforced errors at 4-3 in the first set to hand me the break. After that it was no looking back for me. I started to raise the level more and more, almost a flawless second set. I guess his game suits me. It’s nice to see him back. We haven’t played for quite a few years. It’s great to see him back playing at a high level.”

Stan Wawrinka had one of his best wins Wednesday, but fell flat Thursday going down to an in-form qualifier Max Purcell 6-4, 6-2. Purcell will now face Alcaraz.

In a big showdown between two 6-foot-6 rivals, Alexander Zverev got a double fault give him the break in the third and then closed out former champion Daniil Medvedev 6-4, 5-7, 6-4.

“It was very difficult conditions against a very difficult opponent,” Zverev said. “He gives you nothing and you have to win the match yourself and that is what I did today and I am pleased with that.”

Huburt Hurkacz moved on past Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-3, 6-4. Taylor Fritz got a retirement from qualifier Dusan Lajovic up 5-0 in the first and Adrian Mannarino had the same luck as Mackenzie McDonald retired down 6-4, 3-0.

Speaking of luck, lucky loser Alexie Popyrin moved in the quarters besting fellow 24-year-old Emil Ruusuvuori in three 6-2, 1-6, 6-3.

Tomorrow’s big match features Djokovic against American No. Fritz. Djokovic has won all six of tour-level head-to-head meetings with Fritz most recently at the 2022 Tour Finals semis.

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2 Comments for Djokovic Rolls To 19th Straight Win Over Monfils, Alcaraz Gets Rainy Revenge On Paul At Cincinnati Masters

chrisford1 Says:

One thing to add is that Djokovic and Monfils set an ATP record. 19-0 breaks the Nadal-Gasquet record lopsided H2H of 18-0.
No disgrace on Gael. He’s a solid Top 20 sometimes Top 10 player. Hasn’t got any big trophies but HAS managed to beat Federer, Nadal, Murray, Wawrinka several times. He is 23rd on the all-time wins list and a sponsor and fan favorite. To lose that many times to Djokovic means he had to have a long career and consistently make it to the later rounds to meet a Djokovic also with a long career and getting to the later rounds.

It may be a record in the ATP books that will endure and no doubt Richard Gasquet is happy he is no longer the record holder for the worst results against a fellow ATP player. But Gael was no walkover and Djokovic has another “mark” or point of reference for fans on the level of his consistent excellence.

Lets hope for the 20th encounter and media to take the time to praise both men if it happens.

chrisford1 Says:

Excuse. There is no edit function. I said Monfils is 23rd in wins – I meant to say 23rd in Tour all-time earnings. For almost 20 years, Monfils has played well enough to make a very good living (21 million) just on his court winnings. He has made more than that 21 million as a huge fan draw from sponsors, appearance fees, and Exos.

Give credit to a man that draws people in not for “The Win” but a chance to see what no one else could do on a court, maybe see something that had never been done , ever.

And technically, Monfils beat Djokovic once in juniors futures and in a best of three Exo in the later 2000s. But the ATP doesn’t count those in it’s own records.

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