Novak Djokovic Breaks New Ground, Completing Set of 9 Masters Titles

While still a step below the Grand Slam events in terms of prestige, the nine Masters events have been a fixture on tour in their current form since 1990. Three players — Bob Bryan, Mike Bryan and Daniel Nestor — have won doubles titles at each Masters event. The WTA tour, which uses a more convoluted nomenclature including distinctions between “Premier Mandatory,” “Premier 5,” and “Premier” levels, has not been able to enumerate an equivalent achievement.

In the women’s final earlier Sunday, 17th-ranked Kiki Bertens won the biggest title of her career, beating top-ranked Simona Halep, 2-6, 7-6 (6), 6-2. Halep had a match point in the second set tiebreaker, but Bertens fended it off and won the set. From there, Halep faded considerably, with cumulative fatigue from her title last week in Montreal and her four matches this week catching up to her.

Before this summer, Bertens had been almost exclusively a clay court specialist who struggled on grass and hard courts, winning all five of her career titles on clay. This summer, however, she has gone 8-0 against top-10 opponents on grass and hard courts, surfaces on which she had previously gone 0-11.

The win over Halep was Bertens’ fourth win over a top-10 player this week, following victories against No. 2 Caroline Wozniacki, No. 5 Elina Svitolina, and No. 8 Petra Kvitova.

“Winning on a surface that you didn’t really know coming into this year that it was possible — yeah, that’s a great feeling,” Bertens said.

Djokovic and Federer have battled it out across every surface over the years — Sunday was their 46th professional meeting — but they had not faced each other since the 2016 Australian Open.

Federer called Djokovic’s set of Masters titles “an amazing accomplishment” and one that could only be correctly appreciated with time.

Post Comment

20 + 9 =