Madrid Open 2019 Men's final Preview: Novak Djokovic Vs Stefanos Tsitsipas
On a super Saturday at the Madrid Open, the Greek young sensation Stefanos Tsitsipas toppled the ‘King of Clay’ Rafael Nadal in their epic semi-final clash 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 to book a date in the final against Novak Djokovic in the Spanish capital.
Before that the World No.1 Novak Djokovic beat Austria’s Dominic Thiem in two straight tie-break sets 7-6(2), 7-6(4) to reach his first final since his triumph at the Australian Open earlier this year. After being broken first in both the sets, the Serb showed tremendous resilience to break back and force the sets into tie-breaks. Djokovic’s performance in a tight semi-final against Thiem, arguably the most in-form player on clay this year so far, who was coming off from a sensational win over Roger Federer, gave us an impression that the World No.1 is making huge strides towards reaching a level where he belongs.
Tsitsipas who stunned Nadal in the semis now has a golden chance to record his first ever ATP Masters 1000 title when he faces off against the 32-time ATP Masters 1000 champion Djokovic at the La Caja Magica. In the head to head rivalry, these two have just played once against each other; at ATP Masters 1000 Canada in Toronto where the Greek young sensation upset Djokovic 6-3, 6-7, 6-3 in their Round of 16 square-off.
Stefanos Tsitsipas might have had a day to cherish with his jaw-dropping triumph over the best clay court player of all time Rafael Nadal, but will have to undergo a litmus test yet again if he fancies winning the Madrid Open on Sunday against the in-form World No.1.
Novak Djokovic who had a lacklusture run since his victory down under earlier this year seems to be up and running and back to his best form as he hasn’t dropped even a single set all week in Madrid en route his appearance in the final.
While Tsitsipas might have played the Serb just once but he should be well aware and wary of Djokovic’s tremendous ability to return the serve and his water-tight game from behind the baseline coupled with incredible mental toughness would make any person on the other side of the net uncomfortable and nervous.
On the other hand the Serb, Novak Djokovic with his rejuvenated energy after his remarkable win over Thiem, would be on a hunt to win his 33rd Masters 1000 title that will put him on par with his rival Rafael Nadal who has won 33 Masters 1000 titles so far. If indeed Novak Djokovic wins at Madrid, this would his 3rd title at the Spanish capital and his first ever title on clay since his monumental triumph at Rolland Garros way back in 2016.
The title triumph for either player would be a huge morale booster heading into the French Open, especially for Djokovic, who is on the verge of creating history yet again by winning his 4th consecutive slam for the second time in his career, thereby holding all the four slams at the same time.
The giant killer Stefanos Tsitsipas, who also defeated Roger Federer earlier this year at the Australian Open, may have displayed a tremendous character in taking out the mighty Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals, but it will take something extraordinary to beat Novak Djokovic in full flow.
Novak Djokovic certainly starts as a favourite to win his 3rd Madrid Open title and if not in two, one can expect him to beat the 20-year old Greek in three hard-fought sets.
Prediction: Novak Djokovic to win in three sets.Published 12 May 2019, 12:02 IST