Master of Masters Djokovic Claims Second Cincinnati Title
He would not be denied.
It took Novak Djokovic six shots in the final to finally win his first Western & Southern Open title in 2018, but the Serb has done the trick again in 2020 to become the first player to ever win all nine Masters 1000 titles twice.
On Saturday Djokovic defeated Canada’s Milos Raonic 1-6, 6-3, 6-4, to claim his 80th ATP title and his 35th at the Masters 1000 level.
Djokovic was the first to accomplish the feat, known as the Career Golden Masters, in 2018. The fact that he has now done it twice while no other player has managed it once confirms his status as tennis’ alpha dog on the weekend prior to the US Open.
Make no mistake, the World No.1 had to work for it.
Battling through a sore neck which plagued him off and on during the tournament - and especially in the final two rounds - and pesky competition, the 33-year-old had to engineer comebacks from a set down twice in two days to earn the right to hoist the Rookwood Cup for a second time.
After dropping a lopsided opener Djokovic buckled down and made life difficult for the hard-serving Raonic. After taking the middle set he rallied from a break down in the third, capturing six of the final eight games to clinch the title on Louis Armstrong Stadium.
He improves to 11-0 lifetime against Raonic, and 39-12 lifetime at the Western & Southern Open.
"I would like to thank my team for hanging in there. Tough match yesterday, three hours," Djokovic said during the trophy ceremony, before giving a nod to the Cincinnati fans. "I would like to take this opportunity to say hello to all the Cincinnati fans and tennis fans around the world. We miss you guys. It feels quite strange to be in these conditions and circumstances, but we all hope for a better tomorrow and you are one of the biggest reasons why we play professional tennis, so hopefully we can see you very, very soon."
The Serb will head into the US Open on fire. He has started the season with a 23-0 record and stretched his current winning streak to 26 matches.