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Djokovic beats Raonic to win Western & Southern tournament

Flushing Meadows, New York, Aug 29 (efe-epa).- World No. 1 Novak Djokovic defeated Canada’s Milos Raonic 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 Saturday to win the Western & Southern Open for the second time.

The Serb has won all 11 of his matches against Milos Raonic, who is ranked 30th in the world.

Djokovic, 33, remains undefeated for the season and moved into a tie with Rafael Nadal for most Masters 1000 trophies with 35 even as he became the only player to win all nine ATP Masters 1000 titles – and he’s done it twice.

And the Serbian player is catching up with Nadal and Roger Federer in total number of matches won in Masters 1000 events with 360, compared with 381 for Switzerland’s Fed and 384 for the Spanish great.

Nadal and Federer decided to skip the Western & Southern, which was held this year at the site of the US Open in New York instead of its usual venue near Cincinnati, Ohio.

Tour organizers decided to stage both the Western & Southern and the US Open, which gets under way next Monday, at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in order to minimize travel amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Despite the extra precautions, Nadal and Federer have been joined by other high-profile players in opting out of the 2020 US Open.

As was the case in Friday’s semifinal against Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut, Djokovic lost the first set to Raonic, double-faulting twice and never coming close to breaking his opponent’s serve.

Djokovic was dramatically better in the second and needed just 45 minutes to take the set 6-3.

Raonic earned a break early in the third set to take a 2-0 lead before Djokovic won six of the next eight games to claim the title.

“I would like to thank my team for hanging in there. Tough match yesterday, three hours,” Djokovic said during the trophy ceremony. “I would like to take this opportunity to say hello to all the Cincinnati fans and tennis fans around the world. We miss you guys. It feels quite strange to be in these conditions and circumstances, but we all hope for a better tomorrow and you are one of the biggest reasons why we play professional tennis, so hopefully we can see you very, very soon.”

“The first set obviously he was playing great, I made some double faults, handed two breaks to him,” Djokovic said of Raonic.

“It’s always hard playing Milos. He has one of the best serves in the game, puts so much pressure on your service games. He steps in, he’s going more for his shots from the back of the court,” the tournament winner said. EFE gr/dr

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