World no.1 Novak Djokovic won a record-equalling 33rd ATP Masters 1000 title in Madrid on Sunday when he beat young gun Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-3, 6-4 in the final. The world number one was able to improve on his epic 7-6, 7-6 semifinal win over Dominic Thiem of Austria for a more straightforward victory over Tsitsipas, who is still searching for his first Masters 1000 title.
Djokovic lifted the title in Madrid after progressing through the week without losing a set and has now won 33 Masters 1000 titles – the same number as Rafael Nadal and five more than Roger Federer.
Djokovic got the decisive break in the ninth game of the set to move 5-4 up and then held his serve to add the 2019 Madrid Open title to those he won in 2011 and 2016.
Players with the most ATP Masters 1000
Rafael Nadal. 33 titles
Novak Djokovic. 33 titles
Roger Federer. 28 titles
‘Nole’ picked up his second title of the year in the Caja Mágica (Australian Open and Mutua Madrid Open) and his first ATP Masters 1000 since winning in Shanghai last season. The most striking thing about this Djokovic victory is that it is his first on clay in the last three years, since completing the career Grand Slam at the French Open in 2016.
Djokovic had only crossed paths with Tsitsipas once before, in the ATP Masters 1000 in Canada 2018. It was at that tournament that the Greek earned his only experience in the final of an event of this category (lost to Rafael Nadal) before Sunday. But the Serb got his revenge in the Madrid final.
The ATP world number one made a statement of intent as soon as he was out of the blocks. Despite the Greek threatening his opening serve, reaching 15-30, Djokovic converted the game. His opponent did not follow suit and he strung together two more games to make it 3-0. 84% on his first serve was enough for Djokovic to keep his lead without offering a single break point to his adversary.
It was the fifth time Tsitsipas has faced a top-2 opponent in his career with a return of 1-3 before today. However, his only victory against an opponent of this calibre came on Saturday in the Mutua Madrid Open semi-finals against Nadal, the same player that had beaten him three times. And Djokovic joined that list by closing out the second set.
It the third game, at 1-1, 15-40 he threatened to convert the first break point of the set but Tsitsipas managed to hold his serve. It was in the ninth game when he made the decisive blow that earned him the 74th title of his career.
— Mutua Madrid Open (@MutuaMadridOpen) May 12, 2019