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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Saturday August 29, 2020

You can’t stop Novak Djokovic, you can only hope to contain him.

That’s been the theme—among other less desirable themes—of tennis in 2020, and it continues to be as the US Open rolls around.

Tennis Express

Djokovic rallied from a set down on the second consecutive day to claim his record-tying 35th Masters 1000 title, defeating Milos Raonic 1-6 6-3 6-4 to earn his second title at the Western and Southern Open. Perhaps most remarkable of all of Djokovic’s achievements this week—and there are many—is the fact that he has now won the Career Golden Masters not once, but twice. The Serb became the first player to achieve this feat in 2018 when he broke his drought of five consecutive losses in the Cincinnati final, defeating Roger Federer for the title.

This year he did it under completely different, and more difficult circumstances, in New York City, with an ailing neck, and during a global pandemic.

Djokovic was thumped in a lopsided opening set, but he quickly turned the tide in the second to level up with the hard-serving Canadian. After falling behind by a break in the third he once again rallied, powering to the finish to improve to 11-0 lifetime against Raonic.

The Serb has now won 23 straight matches to start the 2020 campaign and he stretched his winning streak to 26 in total. He claims his 80th ATP title and heads into the US Open as the clear favorite to win his 18th major title.

All that needs to happen now is for him to get his neck issue under control. Djokovic suffered from an ailing neck in his first match against Ricardas Berankis, but appeared to be much better in his next two rounds. But the problem came back to bother him during yesterday’s semifinal and today’s final.

He’ll have a few days to rest—the World No.1 will begin his US Open campaign on Monday evening in New York against Bosnia’s Damir Dzumhur.


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