Djokovic Continues Dominance, Wins ATP Madrid 2016
Steen Kirby, Tennis Atlantic
As our on-site journalist Niall Clarke covered all week, Novak Djokovic’s early loss in Monte Carlo turned into just a blip on the radar, as the Serbian superstar and world #1 continued his winning streak over top 10 players, and beat Andy Murray 6-2 3-6 6-3 in the final, moving his h2h against Murray to a remarkable 23-9. Given they are the world #1 and #2, the gap between the players at the top of the game seems to be widening by the week.
Djokovic was fantastic in the two sets he won, though Murray was valiant, perhaps on a faster surface he could have prevailed, but on clay, Djokovic was simply too fast, and too lethal from the baseline. Counterpunching when needed and getting fantastic court coverage. The final featured a lot of high quality shotmaking and fantastic play from both players.
Djokovic previously beat Kei Nishikori and Milos Raonic without dropping a set, and Borna Coric and Roberto Bautista Agut were unable to do much damage earlier in the week as well. Djokovic is now 13-0 in 2016 against top 10 players, and will head to the French Open as the favorite. He also hasn’t lost a final since the Summer of 2015, and has won five out of the last six Masters level titles.
Murray still had a great week in his own right, moving to 17-4 on the season with wins over Radek Stepanek, Gilles Simon, Tomas Berdych, and Rafael Nadal. Stepanek was his toughest test of the week, but the biggest win was over Rafa of course, as the British #1 avenged his defeat previously in Monte Carlo with a 7-5 6-4 upset victory over the favored Spaniard. Murray has now beaten Nadal twice in a row on Madrid clay.
Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau won their first ever Masters 1000 level title as they knocked off the defending champions Rohan Bopanna/Florin Mergea in the final. With the Bryan brothers in decline, the doubles game has opened up, and we’re seeing some new champions emerge on the biggest stages.