World No. 1 Novak Djokovic played well at Toronto 2016. Novak eliminated Gilles Muller, Radek Stepanek, Tomas Berdych and Gael Monfils to advance to the title clash, his eighth of the season. Djokovic bounced back from his Wimbledon loss and set the final match with Kei Nishikori.
Novak prevailed 6-3 7-5 in 83 minutes to lift the trophy and become the first player with 30 Masters 1000 titles. The Serb posted his 33rd hard-court win in 34 matches in 2016. He played well in the first set and prevailed in the second to celebrate his fourth Canadian Open crown.
Djokovic dropped Nishikori for the ninth time in a row after that shocking semi-final loss at the 2014 US Open. The Serb served at 76% and faced two break points in the sixth game of the second set, when Kei recovered from the break.
Other than that, the Japanese had no return opportunities, putting him under pressure in his service games. Kei couldn’t take it as Novak outplayed him from the baseline, especially in the first set. Nishikori improved her second serve in the second set and held on to the rallies, only to lose ground in crucial moments.
Novak’s tennis in the first set was otherworldly. He served at 85% and unleashed some sublime shots that left Kei with no chance. Djokovic won the first ten points of the games from him as an excellent harbinger of his overall performance.
Nishikori kept in touch early on before Djokovic broke at the 15th of game six for a 4-2 lead. The Serb served well in the remaining game and took the first game 6-3.
Jo Durie speaks about Djokovic
Former British No 1 Jo Durie believes it will be a ‘real shame’ if Novak Djokovic cannot play at the US Open, as the debate over his hopes of participating in New York rumbles on.
“What a mess at the beginning of the year in Australia. Bad communication and it was really tough on him,” reflected Durie. “Now we have the US Open and he can’t go to that. He has pulled out of the Canadian (Open) because he is not vaccinated.
He is so strong mentally with the things he wants to do, but it looks tough at the moment. It’s unfortunate. That’s the rules in America at the moment. Most countries have opened up now, but who am I to say (whether he should be allowed to play)? It’s a real shame that he can’t go and play at the moment because obviously he would be the favourite”.