By: A. Balaji
On Saturday 31st August, Novack Djokovic completed his second Career Golden Masters after winning the Western and Southern Open at Cincinnati. The Serbian national is now the only tennis player in the open era to win all 9 Masters 1000 at least twice. He is now tied with the Spaniard Rafael Nadal in having the most Masters 1000 titles: tallying 35 each. The circumstances of his win were quite unusual, given the lack of supporters on the stands, and significant absence of two titans in the tennis world: Roger Federer and Nadal. Nevertheless, the current No. 1 powered his way to the title, dropping only 2 sets in the last two stages.
The match itself started off really well for his Canadian opponent, Milos Raonic. The current No1. witnessed powerful body shots by Raonic who thundered his around the court, giving Djokovic a true headache. His service games were especially remarkable, as he held them all without a single break. 1st set final score: 6-1 for Raonic. But, as always, we can never rule out Novack Djokovic. The Serbian dug out an impressive amount of will power and repertoire as he started to efficiently turn the tables to his favor. Djokovic was able to neutralize Raonic’s serve, while making him move around the court, forcing unexpected unforced errors which weren’t seen during the first set. The Serbian's defensive shots were impressive, as he managed to place his balls at extreme corners of the court, making Raonic’s use of force to dictate the point much harder. The resulting score: 1-6, 6-3, 6-4. With this win Djokovic remains unbeaten in the 2020 season, with an impressive 23-0 record.
After winning the first ATP tournament post lockdown, the player will be resting for 4 days before beginning another US Open campaign, with sights on the trophy. With several main seed players not participating due to COVID-19 concerns this year’s tournament might witness a new young champion. With more than half of the players being below the ages of 25 (youngest player pool since the Australian Open, 2010), and the likes of Tsitsipas, Zverev and Thiem playing their best tennis, it’s going to be hard to stop this youth revolution at US open this year. Nevertheless, one can never count Djokovic out, as he continues his impressive performance this year.