DJOKOVIC EQUALS NADAL’S 35TH TITLE AS VICTORIA AZARENKA WINS FIRST TITLE SINCE 2016
Novak Djokovic won his 35th title at a Masters 1000 tournament beating Milos Raonic 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the Western & Southern Open final, Saturday to tie Rafael Nadal’s record of 35th titles.
Djokovic who is seeking his 18th Grand Slam title at the ongoing US Open will move one behind Nadal and two behind Roger Federer’s men’s record of 20, having been seeded number one. Djokovic who has not been beating this year.
“Has been challenging mentally and emotionally for me to stay same and be able to compete on the highest level and win this title,” Djokovic said. “Going on an unbeaten run so far this year obviously brings even more confidence each match.”
Meanwhile, Victoria Azarenka won her first tour title since 2016 as her opponent Naomi Osaka pulled out of the women’s final because of a left hamstring injury. Naomi had said before the commencement of the US Open,
“I just hope I’m giving myself, you know, the opportunity and the chance to have enough time” to recover. She initially said she was not going to play the semi-final over Jacob Blake shooting by Wisconsin police officer by joining other athletes to push for racial justice.
The 22 year-old and highest paid female athlete later played the semi-final on Friday after consultation with the organizers , with the semi-final paused Thursday due to the protest on the Jacob Blake shooting.