Djokovic eager to build on Madrid momentum

16 May, 2019, 06:14 | Author: Nicole Aguilar
  • Rafael Nadal- Rafael Nadal still pulling in the Spanish fans as ‘big three’ battle for title

Djokovic equalled Rafael Nadal's tally of tournaments at this level below the four majors with a 6-3, 6-4 win against Stefanos Tsitsipas, the 20-year-old Greek, who was feeling the effects of a late-night finish in his semi-final against Nadal about 20 hours before.

For Nadal the defeat was his third straight semi-final elimination on clay this season, having failed to reach the final in Monte Carlo and Barcelona - tournaments he had won in the last three consecutive seasons.

"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.

World number one Novak Djokovic beat a tired-looking Stefanos Tsitsipas to win the Madrid Open for a third time. "I don't think I would lose the match if I played like Barcelona 2018 or Australia this year".

Spain's formerly invincible "King of Clay", who in most years would have at least one title on the red dirt upon arrival at Roland Garros, will have a last chance in Rome to pick up a trophy.

Docked a first serve for a second time violation, Djokovic's defensive play in the tiebreaks was little short of miraculous, and he took them 7-2 and 7-4.

"The important thing is to win, you know, especially given what's happened in the last three days", he said.

"I wasn't playing my best tennis after the Australian Open so I was looking to regain momentum", Djokovic told Sky Sports.

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"Not winning here means that I'm not going back to my hotel happy", Nadal said after his defeat to Tsitsipas. He awaits the victor of Saturday's second match between Rafael Nadal and Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece. I'll be able to try to win this kind of tournament that I was not able to win this year.

While I've discussed the head to head meetings as being largely irrelevant, it does add insight into how much Tsitsipas needs to improve if he is to test Nadal tonight.

Djokovic, who won in Madrid in 2011 and 2016, had played only four sets in the Spanish capital this week ahead of the semifinals.

I anticipate the match to be very competitive, and the market does too, chalking up Djokovic as a marginal [1.90] favourite. I didn't play with all the guys this week, but I'm pretty sure he was the best.

"He deserved the victory".

Halep, victor in Madrid in 2016 and 2017, lost the chance to take over the No. 1 ranking from Naomi Osaka.


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