Novak Djokovic Wins “Cincy Tennis in New York” Crown to Earn a Second Complete Set of All Masters 1000 Titles
What a list 😍
— Western & Southern Open (@CincyTennis) August 29, 2020
(August 29, 2020) New York – Novak Djokovic earned his second Cincinnati Masters 1000 Series on Saturday on the grounds of the US Open on Saturday when he rallied to beat Canadian Milos Raonic 1-6, 6-3, 6-4. His victory ties him with Rafael Nadal for the record of 35 singles trophies at a Masters 1000 tournament. It’s Djokovic’s 80th career title. With his second Cincy title, he has now won each Masters 1000 event at least twice. Djokovic keeps his 2020 record perfect at 23-0.
Raonic jumped out to a set and a break lead, but the 17-time major winner from Serbia made a quick turnaround.
“He does what Novak does,” noted Raonic. “He puts in a few more balls. He makes things a little more difficult. First few moments there I was stepping up, but there was a few lapses that I had, and he made the most of it.”
“He’s had obviously I think a better start 2011, but there is not much more he could ask.
“A lot of the matches he was, from what I can recall, winning quite comfortably and a few of them has come down to sort of the wire. He’s stepped up in those situations. It just shows why he’s deservedly No. 1 in the world.”
“A very exhausting three-hour match against (Roberto) Bautista yesterday, not too much time to recover for today’s final, but my physiotherapist did a great job and also Clay, physio from ATP, they made sure that I’ll be able to play and compete,” Djokovic said to media.
“Was a bit slow at the beginning, but I thought I did well, considering the form that Milos is in. He has beaten some great players during this week. He’s serving rockets on the court, and it’s really hard to return. You know, you need all the freshness mentally and all the focus that you can possibly have.
“So I did struggle with that, I must say. It was not the most ideal situation for me to kind of be competing in the last four of a big tournament and have to deal with a lot of stuff off the court, but those were the circumstances. I accepted them. I was fortunate to get the title, obviously, but it’s a great lesson learned.”
A big chunk of questions to the world No. 1, who until recently was the President of the ATP Player Council, about his proposed Professional Tennis Players Association where he’s leading the charge to start the organization.
“Have been part of the council for 10 years, 10 to 15 years, really, more or less. I have obviously, as any other player, done it on a voluntary basis and tried to contribute my time, energy, passion, knowledge, whatever I possibly could to contribute to the betterment of the sport in one way or another.
“You know, I value this experience very much. I think, you know, this group of guys in the council is really, really good, probably the best group I have personally been with in the last 10 years. I have been with three or four different groups.
“The communication is much better, and obviously we all try to make things happen, you know, together with the management of ATP.
Of course things in this system and this structure as it is are quite complicated, not easy to follow through with the players’, I would say, interest at all times, because ATP, Association of Tennis Professionals, that is divided between players equally and tournaments, and of course then you have Grand Slams, they are independent of that, separate entities, and then you have ITF and WTA and et cetera, et cetera.
“So it’s quite complex ecosystem that we are part of. Look, regarding the player association, I have to say that this is not a new idea. This hasn’t been something that came out of the blue. This has been a project for many players and many different generations over the last 20-plus years.
I saw Andy Roddick actually tweeted, he was actually one of the people who was in the forefront when he was at top of his game to, you know, advocate the players association and stronger voice of the players.
“We are one of the few global sports that doesn’t have any player organization, player-only, I must say, organization or association. That has been the subject of discussion for, you know, also I think a wish for many players for many decades now.
“So I don’t want to sit here and tell you this is my idea or Vasek or anybody else, you know. I certainly think it’s the right step forward for the players, because I think it unifies the players. It allows them to have a platform to have an association through which they will be able to express themself better where they will be able to, you know, talk about the ideas, the interests, and the things that are related to the players.
“I have heard that, and I have read in the letter from ATP, that they think that ATP cannot co-exist with the association. I have to respectfully disagree. Legally we are 100% safe and we are allowed to form the player association. This is not a union. This is player association. So we are not calling for boycotts. We are not forming parallel tours.
“I have seen a lot of different speculations in the media, and people coming out with just various things that we will do, which is, in a way, is expected, because it’s a big thing, of course.
“It’s not new. I must underline that again. But at the same time, Vasek, myself, and obviously this generation have managed to make that final step. Well, hopefully. We are meeting with players today, and our goal is to try to secure, you know, support from the players and try to get an indication of support.
“We don’t have a minimum number of players that will sign or maximum number of players that will sign. We are focused on top 500 in singles, top 200 in doubles. We are hoping we can get majority of those players.
“We are aware that it most likely will not be the case today, but we are giving it a time. We have to start from somewhere. I think this is an important step for players and for the sport, as well, because I see that there is a kind of a narrative going around that this is only good for players. I disagree. I think this is very good for sport.
“And this has proven to be a good step forward for other major sports, global sports around the world, as well, that have similar associations in place.
“Of course I would love to have Roger and Rafa on board. Of course I would love to have all the players on board. But I understand. I truly understand that, you know, some of them have different opinions and they don’t think the time is right.
“Again, I think the time is right. The time is always right, you know. It’s like having a baby. The time is never right or it’s always right. I mean, as I said at the beginning, this is a project that is ongoing for more than 20 years. Lots of players attempted to do what we’re attempting to do right now and hoping we can make that first step and create memberships and create structure and create leadership and create a system.
“We don’t have answers to all the questions right now. We don’t know yet who will be the people who will represent the players. We have a broad outline on what, the platform the association will look like. We’re going to have our trustees, but we are also going to have the annual meetings.
“I mean, of course once we have an indication of some major support that we, as a team, think that we should proceed with this project, then of course we will commence with all the different steps that are about to follow.
“So right now, we are just trying to get a sense of how many players do really want to join this initiative. Then we will take it from there.”
The Western & Southern Open, normally played in a suburb of Cincinnati, was moved to the site of the US Open due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The organizers moved it to create a “bubble” to keep the players safe.