New York: Serbian star Novak Djokovic and Belarus’ Victoria Azarenka geared up for the US Open in perfect style as they won the men’s and women’s singles titles respectively at the Western & Southern Open.
World No. 1 Djokovic defeated Canadian Milos Raonic in the final 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 to take the men’s title and completed his second career Masters sweep.
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Djokovic, who is now enjoying a perfect 23-0 in 2020, is the only player in history to win all nine ATP Masters 1000 titles. And now he has claimed them all twice. The 33-year-old also tied Rafael Nadal’s record for most Masters 1000 trophies with 35.
“I am trying to make the most of my career, trying to use this time when I feel that I am physically, mentally, emotionally, game-wise at my peak and playing some of the best tennis that I have ever played,” Djokovic said. “Going on an unbeaten run so far this year obviously brings even more confidence each match.”
It wasn’t easy for the Serbian, though. Djokovic got off to a sluggish start in the first set against Raonic and had to dig deep to find his best form, clinching his 80th tour-level title after two hours.
“The first set obviously he was playing great, I made some double faults, handed two breaks to him,” Djokovic said. “It’s always hard playing Milos. He has one of the best serves in the game, puts so much pressure on your service games. He steps in, he’s going more for his shots from the back of the court.”
In women’s singles final, Azarenka won the title even without swinging her racket as her Japanese opponent Naomi Osaka withdrew citing a left hamstring injury, leaving Azarenka to claim her 21st WTA Tour title.
The Japanese player said: “I’m sorry to have to withdraw today with an injury. I pulled my left hamstring yesterday in the second set tie-break and it has not recovered overnight as I had hoped. This has been an emotional week and I want to thank everyone for the outpouring of support.”
“I think it’s unfortunate because I was actually really looking forward to competing against Naomi,” Azarenka said. “It would have been an amazing opportunity to face her level, and she’s been playing really great. I lost to her the last time that we played, so I was really looking forward to that.”