Novak Djokovic won his first title of the year, beating Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-0, 7-6(5) in the Rome final on Sunday. In the process, the Serb registered his third bagel set in a Masters 1000 final.
Much like the ladies' singles winner Iga Swiatek earlier in the day, Djokovic did not drop a set all week either. He produced a dominating performance in his 12th Rome final to take home his sixth title, which was also a record-extending 38th Masters 1000 triumph.
On that note, here's a look at the three times when Djokovic bagelled his opponent in a Masters 1000 final:
#3 2022 Rome - Novak Djokovic beats Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-0, 7-6(5)
Making a blazing start in his 12th final at the Foro Italico, the World No. 1 broke Tsitsipas three times en route to taking the opener in 30 minutes without conceding a game. This marked the first time the young Greek was bagelled on clay.
To his credit, the first-time Rome finalist showed sterner resistance in the second set. Tsitsipas broke Djokovic early and led 5-2 but failed to serve out the set as the Serb forced a tie-break. Tsitsipas recovered from a mini-break down to draw level at 5-5, but the World No. 1 won the next two points to become the oldest winner at the Foro Italico.
The Serb spoke about his triumph in his post-match on-court interview.
“I surprised myself I can say," he said. "I had a clear game plan, and I knew what to expect, so I knew what I had to do, but I did play a perfect first set. After that it was a little tighter. At this level, one or two points can turn a match, and he was then back in the game at 4-1 up."
Djokovic noted that he was close to playing a third set, but he played the key points better than his opponent to close out a tough win.
“The match could easily have gone to a third set but I managed to find the right shots at the right time to come back into the match. The tie-break I was maybe an inch better, but it was a tight, tight tie-break for both of us," he added.
#2 2016 Indian Wells - Novak Djokovic beats Milos Raonic 6-2, 6-0
Producing one of the most dominant performances in a Masters 1000 final, Novak Djokovic was too hot to handle for first-time Masters 1000 finalist Milos Raonic at 2016 Indian Wells.
There was only going to be one winner after the Canadian lost his serve in the opening game and got injured midway through the first set. Djokovic broke Raonic twice in the first set to take the opener.
The Serb was even more dominating in the second, breaking the big-serving Canadian thrice on a blazing hot afternoon to win a record-equalling 27th Masters 1000 title. It was also a record fifth triumph for Djokovic at Indian Wells.
After improving to 22-1 on the season and 6-0 against Raonic, Novak Djokovic said it was his "best match of the tournament."
"Best match of the tournament for me today and probably the worst for Milos. He was not feeling his best and I wish him a speedy recovery. He just told me that he might have injured the same part of the leg as he did at the Australian Open, which took him off the tour for a month."
Explaining how he tackled the Raonic serve, the Serb added that he looked to feast on the Canadian's second serve to put pressure on his first delivery.
"Every time he would miss the first serve, I was on top of the second serve. I was not allowing him to control the pace from the baseline, I moved him around the court. Tactically, I did everything right," he said.
#1 2015 Miami - Novak Djokovic beats Andy Murray 7-6(3), 4-6, 6-0
Novak Djokovic faced a stern test in the 2015 Miami final against Andy Murray. The Serb twice recovered from a break down to take the opener in a tie-break.
In the pair's 27th meeting, Murray was the better player in the second set, as he won it 6-4 to force a decider. However, he failed to ride his momentum in the third as Djokovic whizzed past the finish line without dropping a game.
That marked Novak Djokovic's first bagel set in a Masters 1000 final as he won his fifth Miami title after an exhausting three-hour title match. In the process, Djokovic won a record third consecutive Indian Wells-Miami double. Earlier in the year, he had also bagelled Murray in the Australian Open final.
Novak Djokovic said after his Miami triumph that he was playing his best tennis but that it "cannot go on forever."
"I'm trying to enjoy the moment and also utilise this time of my career where I'm probably playing the tennis of my life, and I'm feeling confident and physically fit," he said. "I'm trying to use that. That's what I'm thinking about right now... I am aware that this cannot go forever. There is going to be eventually a change of generations, some players that are going to start playing better and be stronger."
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