Novak Djokovic defeated Kei Nishikori in the final of the Canadian Masters on Sunday 6-3, 7-5. With the victory, the World No. 1 claimed his 4th career title from the Rogers Cup. The title also gives him 30 career titles at the Masters Series level, an all-time best among all players.
The win also signifies a return to order of sorts. Djokovic suffered a shock defeat at Wimbledon 2016 earlier this summer, going out in that event to Sam Querrey in the third round. With the title in Toronto, the Serb helped make the bad loss at Wimbledon history, and he spoke about his victory post-match.
“It’s a process,” Djokovic claimed, “like any other that has happened many times in my career, where I would start a tournament still feeling a little bit uncomfortable on the court and searching for my rhythm, and then, as the tournament goes on, I find that proper comfort level with shots, with the way I feel, with my mental attitude.”
Nishikori, Japan’s top player, fell to 0-3 in Masters Series finals. Furthermore, he is now just 2-10 against Djokovic’s heads up, a record that will likely need to improve in the future if he is going to start claiming the big titles on tour. However, at least the injury problems with his rib from Halle and Wimbledon appear to be history. Nishikori spoke after the match as well.
“I think (Djokovic) stepped it up. He raised his level from a couple of days ago. He played really deep, and he didn’t give me any free points,” Nishikori claimed. “I was really feeling the pressure every game. Maybe in the second set I had some chances, but there were too many unforced errors from me. He was playing well, but I couldn’t play good tennis today.”
Neither Djokovic nor Nishikori have taken the Zika way out of the Olympics. Accordingly, both players are expected to be in the event next week. Djokovic is the outright favorite while Nishikori is 5th favorite according to BetVictor’s betting odds. However, with third-favored Rafael Nadal questionable and Stan Wawrinka still victory-less against the Top 10 this season, I think Nishikori should be considered more like a solid third favorite behind both Djokovic and Andy Murray.
The women’s event in Canada also saw completion this weekend. A tournament that was missing several key players, including Serena Williams, Simona Halep was the last woman standing. She beat Madison Keys in straight sets to claim the title in Montreal, one that adds to a growing collection for the Romanian this season.
Halep won’t be at the Olympics as she is among the contingent of athletes that did use the Zika panic to skip the event. However, Madison Keys is expected to be there still, currently considered the sixth favorite behind Williams, Garbine Muguruza, Angelique Kerber, Petra Kvitova, and Agnieszka Radwanska. The American does seem to have trouble closing out the big events, however, I’d still bump Keys up a couple spots to fourth favorite over a struggling Kvitova and a slumping Radwanska.
There are some events on the men’s and women’s tour still ahead of the Olympics, including ATP Atlanta. However, these events are missing big names as most are looking ahead to Rio.