Novak Djokovic defeats Stefanos Tsitsipas to win Madrid Open title
Novak Djokovic defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas to win his third Madrid Open title and tie Rafael Nadal’s record for Masters 1000 titles.
The world No 1 backed up his gruelling semi-final victory against in-form Dominic Thiem with another impressive performance to deny 20-year-old Tsitsipas the first Masters 1000 title of his burgeoning career.
Djokovic, whose last title was his 15th Grand Slam victory at the Australian Open in January, won 6-3 6-4, and will now head to the Italian Open in Rome, where he is a four-time champion.
The Serb had lost his only previous encounter against Tsitsipas in the Rogers Cup last-16 in Toronto, where the three-time ATP Tour winner reached his only previous Masters 1000 final last August.
Djokovic, champion previously in 2011 and 2016, broke the Greek's serve in the second game of the match and maintained his initiative with accurate serving to seal the first set without facing a breakpoint.
Tsitsipas, who also reached the semi-finals of the men's doubles, deployed the drop shot in a bid to disrupt Djokovic's rhythm from the baseline, but the top seed demonstrated further signs he is returning to near his best form.
Sunday's final was a contest between youth and experience
Djokovic failed to convert two break points in the third game of the second set, as Tsitsipas, leading the tour for wins this year, showed good resolve as he fought to force a deciding set.
But Tsitsipas, who knocked out defending champion Alexander Zverev in the quarter-finals before he beat five-time champion Nadal for the first time, was unable to break Djokovic's assurance on serve.
The top seed then sealed the pivotal first break of the second set to lead 5-4 before he served out for victory on his fourth match point to maintain his perfect record in finals at the Caja Magica.