Djokovic proves he’s master of Montreal
Originally published on: 20/12/11 10:06
Novak Djokovic grabbed a slice of history in Montreal as he became the first player to win five ATP Masters 1000 titles in the same season after beating Mardy Fish 6-2 3-6 6-4 at the Rogers Cup.
Featuring in his first tournament since claiming the world No.1 ranking and winning Wimbledon at the All England Club in July, Djokovic also became the first man since Pete Sampras in 1993 to win a title in his first event after topping the rankings.
“History making, of course it’s special,” said the beaming Belgrade native after polishing off his 53rd win in 54 matches in 2011. “It’s an honour and privilege to be part of the history of the sport that I love and that I play.”
Djokovic first triumphed at the Rogers Cup in 2007, when he beat then-world No.3 Andy Roddick, No.2 Rafael Nadal and No.1 Roger Federer in successive matches to take the title, but the Serb had a comparatively easy time of it at this year’s event.
The 24-year-old dropped just three games against the highest-ranked opponent he faced, world No.7 Gael Monfils, before benefiting from the retirement of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to reach the tournament showpiece, where he condemned Fish to a fourth defeat in a Masters 1000 final.
“It’s really hard to get to these spots in the first place, and I’ve lost four of them all in three sets,” lamented the American. “It’s really hard to take. It hurts.”
Fish had opportunities to dent the Djokovic serve in the opener, but though he clinched the second set, the Serb scored a break in the fourth game of the third and rounded out a hard-fought decider.
“There was a lot of tension going on. It was a very close match,” admitted the world No.1.