It was a day of streaks – one streak lives, two streaks died. Novak Djokovic kept his consecutive match winning streak in tact with a dramatic 7-5, 6-4 win over No. 1 Rafael Nadal to capture the Madrid Open title. It’s Djokovic’s sixth tournament title for 2011.
For Djokovic it’s his 34the win in a row dating back to the 2010 Davis Cup final and his 32nd since the 2011 year began. As for the streaks which are no longer – Djokovic finally won a match against Nadal on clay. Prior to Sunday’s final Djokovic was 0-9 against Nadal on the surface. Nadal’s consecutive matches on clay was snapped at 37. Nadal’s last loss on clay before Sunday came against Robin Sodering at the 2009 French Open.
Highlights of the final
In their own words:
Djokovic: â€œIt is a very special day for me because itâ€™s the first time I managed to beat Rafa on clay. Iâ€™ve played a great match from the first to the last point. I got to the court believing I can win and that was the only way that I could get a win in the end.â€
â€œI know that this run that I have is really incredible but I try to think about how long itâ€™ll go and when I will be beaten. Itâ€™s how many more wins Iâ€™m going to have. Every time I go on the court Iâ€™m motivated to win and not thinking that this is the day Iâ€™ll lose.â€
On the No. 1 ranking: â€œIf I keep winning Iâ€™ll get closer but Iâ€™m trying not to think about that. I just started the clay court season. It was a perfect start with the two tournaments that I won and I need to stay dedicated and focused on the upcoming events because if I want to reach No. 1 I have to play consistent because thatâ€™s what Rafa will do and the rest of the players. It has changed, I have a different mindset right now, Iâ€™m more stable and I know how to think right.â€
Nadal: â€œHeâ€™s playing at a really high level. Weâ€™ve got to accept that. When someone is better than you there is nothing you can do other than congratulate him and thatâ€™s it and look forward to your next tournament and try to keep up, see what youâ€™re missing, what youâ€™re doing right and face forward with the correct attitude and with mental strength. You have to be cold, mentally speaking, and you have to look for solutions. Try to be better, try to practice and next time Iâ€™ll try to do better.â€
â€œIf I lose No. 1 itâ€™s not the end of the world. If I lose it I will be No. 2 and Iâ€™ll be very happy. Iâ€™m just happy to go out on court and have the feeling that Iâ€™m competitive and I still have this feeling but at the moment I havenâ€™t been able to beat him but Iâ€™ll try to work and I try to beat him. The good things will come and youâ€™ve got to be patient.â€
Shot of the match – Nadal’s “tweener”
Djokovic sits behind John McEnroe’s open-era record of 42-0 from 1984 as the best start to a season.
Singles – Final
 N Djokovic (SRB) d  R Nadal (ESP) 75 64
Doubles – Final
 B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) d  M Llodra (FRA) / N Zimonjic (SRB) 63 63
Special thanks to Ralf Reinecke for TennisGrandstand, Lee San Pedro, and Abigail Hinto for their Madrid Open coverage.