Djokovic beats Berdych in Monte Carlo to set new record for Master event wins
Novak Djokovic set another career record on Sunday with his second Monte Carlo title, as the Serb became the first man to win the opening three Masters 1000 events in a season through a 7- 5, 4- 6, 6- 3 defeat of Tomas Berdych.
The top seed, who lives just a few hundred meters away from the center court, had to survive a comeback from his Czech rival as well as a 70- minute rain interruption which came as he led by a set and 3- 2 on serve in the second.
Djokovic’s victory was his 17th straight win of the season and also marked a fourth straight Masters 1000 title after also winning at Paris Bercy last November.
“I won this match with my heart and with battle,” said Djokovic. “I don’t think I played on the level that I wish to play and that I have played throughout the whole week.
“But credit to Tomas because he has played very aggressively, staying close to the line, pushing me back. So I had to defend a lot of times.
“It was a battle,” said the 2013 Monte Carlo winner, who was frustrated as he committed 38 unforced errors and lost his first set of the week while converting on only five of 14 break points.
Djokovic now owns 52 career titles and 23 at the elite Masters level. He stands 19-2 over Berdych and 30-2 this season.
Berdych missed a chance to move up to a career- best number four in the world.
Djokovic won the opening set comfortably but was unable to come back after the rain break and close it out in straight sets.
Instead, Berdych got the early momentum upon the return and leveled at a set each.
In the third, Djokovic again seized the initiative, going up two breaks only to lose one of them.
Berdych saved a match point, holding for 3- 5 with an overhead winner. But Djokovic prevailed a game later as the Czech’s service return sailed just long over the baseline.
“I came on the court today hoping and wanting, of course, to play as well as I played throughout the whole week,” said Djokovic. “I played my best match and best tennis in the week against Nadal yesterday. Maybe I was a little bit also mentally exhausted coming into this match.”
Novak Djokovic, of Serbia, kisses his trophy after defeating Tomas Berdych, of Czech Republic, in the final match of the Monte Carlo Tennis Masters tournament in Monaco on Sunday, April 19.