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By Richard Pagliaro | Thursday, August 13, 2015

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic reeled off 10 of the final 11 games dismissing Jack Sock, 6-2, 6-1, to score his 28th straight Masters win in Montreal.

Photo credit: Arturo Velazquez/Tennis Canada

Dashing right, Novak Djokovic was so far off the court he could have reached out and touched fans with the tip of his racquet.

Instead, the world No. 1 spun an acute-angled forehand winner crosscourt, striking an ambitious shot with such ease, opponent Jack Sock stopped to applaud.

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That audacious winner gave Djokovic triple match point and summed up the feel of the top seed's 6-2, 6-1 schooling of Sock today. Djokovic dissected Sock with such elegant ease the 35th-ranked American was sometimes reduced to spectator status in rallies.

In the first meeting between the pair, Sock gained the first break point of the match, but Djokovic denied it. Then he proceeded to put Sock in awkward positions and uncomfortable places reeling off 10 of the final 11 games.

It was Djokovic's 28th straight Masters 1000 victory sending him into his 10th quarterfinal of the year. Djokovic has won the last five Masters tournaments he's contested. Aiming for a 25th career Masters crown, Djokovic will face a qualifier in the quarterfinals, either Ernests Gulbis or Donald Young.

Fighting off a biting body serve, the top seed drew his opponent forward where his improvised sliced forehand missed the mark. Djokovic had the first break for 4-2. He quickly consolidated. Serving to extend the set, Sock sprayed a forehand crosscourt as Djokovic seized his fourth straight game to take the opening set.

"I watched him play many times. In last couple of years he was one of the players in the group of rising stars," Djokovic said of Sock in his post-match interview with ESPN's Brad Gilbert. "He won against Dimitrov yesterday and is establishing himself at the top of men's game. Obviously, he had nothing to lose today. I knew he had the big forehand. The turning point of the match was 3-2, the break in first set and after that he made a lot of unforced errors, which made my life easier."

Djokovic played a stress-free second set, permitting just four points on his serve and winning all five points played on Sock's second serve.

Cornering Sock on the ad side, Djokovic leaked a forehand error to break for 3-1. Dropping back behind the baseline to diminish his opponent's open space and extend the length Djokovic squeezed Sock's options away. When Sock slapped a forehand into net, Djokovic had his fourth break of the day for 5-1.

At that point, the only drama was how would the Serbian's right arm, which was marked by a snaking strip of black kinesiology from his shoulder to his elbow, hold up?

"As a professional athlete you go through it and bear with the pain," Djokovic said of the tape job. "You have to accept it part as part of the game. Tomorrow's a new day, hopefully it will be better."

The superb running forehand gave him triple match point. Djokovic closed the 54-minute match with a surprise serve-and-volley.


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