With many top-tier players skipping the Rogers Cup, the tournament’s line-up was somewhat watered down. Of the Big-Four of tennis, three didn’t play but Djokovic was there to ensure that the winning streak in ATP 1000 Masters Tournaments by one of the Big Four was maintained for the 19th time. On his part, the Serb walked away with his fourth title with a deserving victory over Japan’s Kei Nishikori. At Toronto, Djokovic couldn’t bring out his best tennis in earlier rounds but when it mattered most, the world no.1 was clinically brilliant and the Japanese could only watch in just as much awe as the 12500 spectators on center court. After a few celebratory moments on the court, Djokovic jumped into the stands to hug his coaches and his Rio Olympic doubles partner Nenad Zimonjic. More than 500 kilometers away in Montreal, the women’s edition of Rogers Cup was won by Romania’s Simona Halep, who defeated USA’s Madison Keys in straight sets. However, it wasn’t an easy victory for the Romanian since the 21-year old Keys fought hard before conceding defeat. Halep had also reached the final in women’s doubles with compatriot Monica Niculescu but lost that match to the Russian team of Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina. Back in Toronto, men’s doubles title was won by the Croatian/Brazilian pair of Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo, who defeated the Scottish/Brazilian team of Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares.
On the last day of this year’s Rogers Cup, the spectators were privy to some high quality tennis coming from none other than the world’s no.1 player. Before he faced Novak Djokovic in the final, Japan’s Kei Nishikori had won 86% points on his service in all games including those in his semifinal match with Stan Wawrinka. But against Djokovic, he found it difficult to emulate that feat. On Sunday, the Serb carried the momentum of his Saturday’s match against Monfils and broke Nishikori in the sixth game to lead at 4-2. After closing the first set at 6-3, Djokovic jumped to a 3-1 lead in the second. But the Japanese fought back brilliantly and suddenly Djokovic seemed lost. A fired-up Nishikori briefly turned the tables on the world no.1 and reeled off three straight points, including a break of serve against Djokovic to lead 4-3. After the two players held their serves, the second set score was still 5-4 in Nishikori’s favor. It was here that Djokovic changed gear. He stopped losing any point on his service. He made it 5-5 and broke the Japanese serve to lead 6-5. In the 12th game, Djokovic served out to win the Rogers Cup title with the score-line of 6-3, 7-5 in 82 minutes. It was Djokovic’s fourth Rogers Cup title in the past 10 years and his 30th Masters 1000 victory overall.
At Montreal, women’s title was won by Romania’s no.5 seeded Simona Halep after a tough battle with USA’s Madison Keys. The topsy-turvy first set had eight service breaks and it duly went to the tiebreak. It was here that Halep assumed control and after taking the first set, she led 3-0 in the second. What failed the young American was her first serve; otherwise she has a more powerful service than the Romanian. Halep exploited Keys’ inability of keeping the first service under check and also committing silly errors. All Halep needed to do was to keep the balls in play and wait for Keys to commit the errors. The Romanian finally wrapped up the match with a 7-6, 6-3 victory.
Later in the evening, Halep failed to add another title to her name when she and her partner Monica Niculescu lost 3-6, 6-7 in the women’s doubles final to Russians Ekaterina Makarova/Elena Vesnina. The men’s doubles title at Toronto was won by Croatia’s Ivan Dodig/ Brazil’s Marcelo Melo when they defeated Jamie Murray of Scotland and Bruno Soares of Brazil 6-4, 6-4. With all finals completed, curtain came down on the 2016 Rogers Cup at Toronto and Montreal.
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