How The Toronto Final Was Won: Djokovic Takes Title
Novak Djokovic has defeated Kei Nishikori 6-3, 7-5 for the title at the Rogers Cup in Toronto. Djokovic clinched an unprecedented 30th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title and fourth in Toronto, while Nishikori fell to 0-3 in finals at the prestigious level.
Here is how the match unfolded...
SET ONE - Djokovic 6-3
Djokovic and Nishikori entered the Aviva Centre on an overcast Sunday, with nearby rain showers threatening play. The third-seeded Japanese was hoping to continue his surge of momentum after reeling off 11 of the last 13 games in defeating Stan Wawrinka on Saturday afternoon.
Djokovic had struggled in defending his second serve throughout the week and it was imperative for Nishikori to be aggressive on return, but the Serbian was unrelenting to open proceedings on Sunday. He served at 93 per cent (13/14) through his first three service games, dropping just two points.
Djokovic would pounce on Nishikori's serve at 3-2, increasing the pressure in forcing three errors with great depth off the ground. He earned the first break of the match and consolidated for a commanding 5-2 lead as a Nishikori forehand sailed long.
A majestic set point would see Djokovic close out the opener 6-3, as Nishikori pulled the top seed well off the court with a rifled forehand and had him on the back foot throughout the rally. But Djokovic would stay alive behind his trademark defence, evenutally drawing an unforced error to close out the first set.
Djokovic is 44-0 this year when winning the first set and the World No. 1 would jump on his first opportunity to put the match to rest. A break in the third game of the second set seemed to put it out of reach as Djokovic inched closer to the finish line.
But Nishikori would not go quietly, suddenly swinging momentum in his favour with a break back to 15. As Djokovic momentarily took his foot off the gas, Nishikori stepped up his aggressive play. Opening the court with his cross-court backhand, the 26 year old claimed 13 of 15 points to consolidate for a 4-3 advantage.
Djokovic would rediscover his rhythm, however, and an untimely Nishikori double fault at 5-5 30/15 turned the tide for good. The Serb captured the decisive break when the Japanese pulled a backhand wide and he would close out the victory on his third championship point after one hour and 23 minutes.