Novak Djokovic US Open 2021

Djokovic plays ‘best match of the year’ as he claims a ‘first’ in Madrid

World number one Novak Djokovic played his “best match of the year” as he extended his perfect record over ATP veteran Gael Monfils to reach the third round of the Madrid Open.

Despite a turbulent start to the season, Djokovic seems to be rediscovering some of his best form.

Last month at the Serbia Open, he reached his first final since the Paris Masters in November and won three matches back-to-back for the first time this season.

The 20-time Grand Slam winner has continued his good form in the Spanish capital this week as he beat Frenchman Gael Monfils comfortably in straight sets.

The win meant that Djokovic stretched his unbeaten streak against the Frenchman to 18 matches, and as a result Monfils became the first player to lose 18 matches in a row to the same player in ATP history.

It was a significant win for Djokovic as it was first straight sets victory since the Dubai Tennis Championships in February and his first win on clay without dropping a set or having to come from behind to win a match this season.

In his previous outing in Belgrade, in all four matches he was pushed to a deciding set, not winning the opening set once in a match.

Discussing his performance, the 2021 French Open champion argued that it was his best performance of the year especially with Monfils being a “tricky opponent.”

In an interview with Tennis TV, the Serbian said, “Probably the best match of the year so far for me.

“I haven’t played many matches and am still finding my groove, but a very good win against a very tricky opponent who is so fast, you have to expect you are going to play an extra shot against Gael, one of the quickest, most athletic players in the game.”

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