Djokovic stuns Nadal to take Madrid
Novak Djokovic extended his victory streak to 34 matches when he stunned Rafael Nadal 7-5 6-4 to win the Madrid Masters.
Novak Djokovic extended his victory streak to 34 matches when he stunned Rafael Nadal 7-5 6-4 to win the Madrid Masters on Sunday, handing the world No.1 Spaniard his first loss on clay in two years.
Nadal, the defending champion, was last beaten on the surface in the French Open fourth round by Robin Soderling in May, 2009, making it 37 matches without a defeat.
World No.2 Djokovic has now won three straight Masters 1000 trophies over Nadal after defeating him at Indian Wells and Miami in March and April respectively.
Sunday’s win was also the Serb’s first over Nadal on clay after losing their nine previous meetings on the dirt.
His winning streak is made up of 32 matches in 2011 and his two Davis Cup victories in December.
Djokovic’s start is the best to a season since John McEnroe in 1984 when he went 42-0.
“Unbelievable,” Djokovic said about keeping his streak alive. “I stepped onto the court today believing I could win. I needed to be aggressive and it was a great match.”
He suffered his last loss against Roger Federer in the semi-finals at the World Tour Finals in London on November 27, 2010.
Djokovic constructed his two-hour, 17-minute win through 27 winners and 26 unforced errors, while Nadal, playing in front of 15,000 of his home public at the Caya Magica, had just 17 winners.
“I came up against a great player obviously – he’s having a monster year,” Nadal said. “He was better, you have to accept that.”
With his eighth career Masters triumph, Djokovic has lifted trophies at six different venues in the elite series.
Djokovic raced away to a stunning 4-0 lead with two breaks of Nadal which left the Spaniard on the back foot.
Nadal retrieved them by the ninth game when he pulled to 4-5.
He then saved two set points in the tenth game, levelling for 5-5 before Djokovic nosed ahead by taking the set on a net cord winner after 69 minutes.
The pair traded breaks in the first two games of the second before the Serb settled, finally earning the triumph with a concluding break of the top seed.
Nadal saved one match point put then hit a backhand wide on a second in the final game.