Novak Djokovic has beaten Kei Nishikori 6-3 7-5 in Toronto to claim his fourth Rogers Cup title. It was the world No.1’s seventh ATP title this year and a record 30th Masters 1000 title of his illustrious career.
Djokovic broke midway through the opening set to go 4-2 up before sealing the set with supreme defensive tennis. The Serb broke again early in set two but Nishikori fought back to win three games in a row and led 4-3.
Djokovic steadied for 5-5 and it looked to be heading to a tie-break, but the winner of 12 major titles stepped it up a level to break the world No.6 from Japan before serving out for the title.
After the match, Djokovic hugged all members of his entourage and tried to orchestrate a mass group hug in the crowd.
“Speaking of hugs, I’m going to do something I’ve never done before. I promised a friend if I won, if I was in this position, I would do this. If everyone in the stands would hug the person next to them – and I promise I will participate too,” Djokovic said in the trophy presentation.
Djokovic did indeed hug the man next to him – but it was a little more awkward in the stands.
— Sky Sports News HQ (@SkySportsNewsHQ) August 1, 2016
On a more serious note, Djokovic didn’t drop a set for the tournament and it was the perfect way to bounce back from his shock loss to Sam Querrey in the third round of Wimbledon.
He will now set his sights on Olympic gold in Rio de Janeiro.
“I don’t need to explain that every athlete dreams of being part of the Olympic Games,” Djokovic said.
“I’m competing in singles and doubles. Hopefully I’ll get at least one medal.”
Djokovic has never won a gold medal but did win singles bronze in Beijing 2008.
Meanwhile, in the corresponding women’s tournament played in Montreal, Simona Halep defeated Madison Keys 7-6 6-3 in a rematch of their Wimbledon quarterfinal.
The world No.5 claimed her third WTA title this season but she has decided to withdraw from the Olympics, citing fears over the Zika virus.
In a tight first set, eight breaks of serve were exchanged before the Romanian waltzed through the tiebreak 7-2. She broke early in the second set and never looked back.
Later, Halep teamed up with compatriot Monica Niculescu in the doubles final but lost 6-3 7-6 to strong Russian pair Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina, who will be one of the favourites in Rio.
Thank you, Montreal, thank you team! pic.twitter.com/vkzRBTqXkX
— Simona Halep (@Simona_Halep) August 1, 2016