Madrid: Novak Djokovic brushed aside Stefanos Tsitsipas in the Madrid Open final to win the title for a third time and show why he will be one of the favourites for the French Open.
The world No 1 required just one hour and 32 minutes to beat Tsitsipas 6-3, 6-4 to match Rafael Nadal on 33 ATP Masters 1000 trophies.
Masters 1000 title no. 33 for Nole❗️
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) May 12, 2019
Having beaten Nadal in a brilliant semi-final on Saturday, Tsitsipas was clearly feeling the effects of the long match as he struggled to match the Serb.
Djokovic, who looked sluggish before his quarter-final exit at the Madrid Open a fortnight ago, broke once in each set – in game two of the opener and game nine of the second – to ease to victory.
“I wasn’t playing my best tennis after the Australian Open so I was looking to regain momentum,” the Serb said. “I played some of my best tennis here.”
He added: “He’s [Tsitsipas] very talented, he beat Rafa yesterday, he had a late night and he wasn’t as dynamic in his movement and that was probably due to his long match.”
It was the second title of the season for the top-ranked Djokovic, adding to his triumph in the Australian Open. He hadn’t won in Madrid since 2016, with his other title in the Spanish capital coming in 2011.
Nadal and Djokovic have five more Masters 1000 titles than Roger Federer, third in the all-time list.
The ninth-ranked Tsitsipas, the tour’s winningest player in 2019 with 27 victories, lacked the intensity and aggressiveness that he showed against second-ranked Nadal and was overpowered by Djokovic. He had beaten Djokovic in Toronto last year in the first meeting between the two players.
Djokovic had struggled after winning the Australian Open, with his best result since then having been a quarterfinal appearance in Monte Carlo at the start of the clay-court season.
He was coming off a confidence-boosting win over an in-form Dominic Thiem to make it to the final in Madrid.
Tsitsipas won titles in Estoril and Marseille, and reached the final in Dubai, where he lost to Federer. He was beaten by Nadal in the Australian Open semifinals for his best-ever showing in a Grand Slam. The Toronto final, when he lost to Nadal, was his first in a Masters 1000 event.
In the doubles final, Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau defeated Thiem and Diego Schwartzman 6-2, 6-3 for their second Madrid Open title, adding to their 2016 victory.
Kiki Bertens won the women’s title on Saturday.