Novak Djokovic is unstoppable. He didn’t play at his best but still defeated Gael Monfils in the semifinal at Toronto. Now the celebrated Serb is just one match-win away from his 30th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title, which will be a record by itself. This was the 14th time that Djokovic has reached the final in his last 15 appearances in ATP 1000 Masters Tournaments,. The Serbian has already won on 11 occasions and with Rio Olympic Games just round the corner, Djokovic is the top choice of wagers across the world for the Olympic gold medal. For his next ATP1000 masters title on Sunday, the Serb has to beat Japan’s Kei Nishikori, who came through after beating Switzerland’s Stan Wawrinka. In women’s draw, Romania’s Simona Halep disappointed Australian Open champion and Wimbledon runner-up Angelique Kerber of Germany. For the title game on Sunday, she will square up with USA’s Madison Keys. On his part, the American defeated Slovakian qualifier Kristina Kucova, who couldn’t have had a better tournament at Montreal, where she upset two seeded players, besides Canadian heart-throb Eugenie Bouchard.
Saturday’s semifinals at Toronto and Montreal produced four players for the summit clash on Sunday. In men’s draw at Toronto, Novak Djokovic didn’t need to work too hard against Frenchman Gael Monfils, who had not lost in his last 9 matches and emerged as the champion of Citi Open at Washington DC last week. But Monfils knew what to expect against world no.1 Novak Djokovic. Though the Serb floundered on his service, he held France’s Gael Monfils at bay. After a struggle against Czech Republic’s Tomas Berdych on Friday, Djokovic played a lot better against Monfils but certainly not at his best. The 3-time Rogers Cup champion won the points in extended rallies against the Frenchman by superb court-coverage. Monfils couldn’t read Djokovic’s plan and lost several points on his first serve. The Frenchman was restricted to winning just 28% points on his second serve and dropped his service four times in the match. However, the match began with Monfils dominating the proceedings. At 1-1 in the first set, Monfils broke Djokovic to take a 2-1 lead riding on a Djokovic double fault at crunch time. But the tenacious Serb broke right back in the next game to bring parity. Djokovic’s comeback after a 39-shot rally in the fourth game was the beginning of Monfils’ downfall, despite the Frenchman continuing to fight. The two played from the baseline on either side and kept the center court crowd engrossed. But it had already become clear that Djokovic was dictating terms. He won the first set 6-3 and did even better in the second by breaking the Frenchman twice. Djokovic’s 6-3, 6-2 victory took 74 minutes even as Monfils’ unforced error count rose alarmingly.
On Sunday, Djokovic will have a chance to win his fourth Rogers Cup title if he could get past Japan’s Kei Nishikori, who defeated Switzerland’s Stan Wawrinka in straight sets. The 26-year old Japanese, who retired from Wimbledon after a rib injury, was playing in his first tournament but he acquitted himself only too well over the week. Wawrinka was Nishikori’s sternest test and though he had to fight hard against the Swiss in the first set, the Japanese dominated Wawrinka in the second to enter the final with a 7-6, 6-1 victory.