August 1, 2016
Novak Djokovic has won his first title since his shock Wimbledon exit, by lifting the Rogers Cup in Toronto.
And his latest victory means that the brilliant Djokovic has become the first player to clinch 30 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 titles.
Japan’s Kei Nishikori was the beaten finalist, the third seed having recovered well from his recent injury problems at the All England Club.
But Nishikori shares Andy Murray’s problem against the great Djokovic, constantly struggling to find a way to beat him.
Though less than perfect, Djokovic was largely untroubled as he defeated the spirited Asian 6-3, 7-5.
He struck just when it mattered to close out the match in one hour and 23 minutes.
Only Ivan Lendl, Murray’s coach, has ever won more singles titles in Canada now.
Having lost his last nine matches against the formidable Serb, Nishikori will at least console himself in the knowledge that he has regained enough physical fitness to mount a fresh challenge in the biggest tournaments.
Another Grand slam event is only weeks away – the US Open, which takes place in New York later this month.
But the signs are that Djokovic is ready to set his sights on a huge sporting prize even before that, by going for gold at the Olympic Games in Rio.
And although Novak’s third-round defeat to Sam Querrey at Wimbledon showed that the world number one is only human, it would take a brave man to bet against him raising his level in time for the Olympics.
His desire to restablish his total dominance of the sport seems strong.He is dreaming of the podium already.
Looking ahead to Rio, he said: ‘I don’t need to explain that every athlete dreams of being a part of the Olympic Games. I’m competing in singles and doubles. Hopefully I’ll get at least one medal.’
Andy Murray, in particular, will feel he could prevent Djokovic from taking gold.
After all, Novak still isn’t playing his very best tennis, even thoguh he took this title in Toronto.
Olympic glory remains a possibility for Djokovic, who took the decision not to take part in Serbia’s Davis Cup tie against Great Britain recently.
We’ll soon find out whether anyone can stop him, either in Rio or Flushing Meadows. His next clash with Murray promises to be more competitive than ever.