Extending his winning streak to 17 matches in 2015, Novak Djokovic overcame stiff resistance from Czech Tomas Berdych to win the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters tournament that concluded in the Principality of Monaco on Sunday. Djokovic thus became the first player to win every ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event of the 2015 tennis season. The victory for the 27 year old Serb at Monte-Carlo came close on the heels of the Double at the Indian Wells-Miami tournaments in the United States. With 23 Masters 1000 trophies, Djokovic has drawn level with Roger Federer at the second place for most such victories but both Djokovic and Federer are behind Rafael Nadal, who has notched up 27 victories at Masters 1000 level. The Serbian world no.1 has been sensational in Masters 1000 tournaments with 11 straight finals and he has taken the trophies at 6 biggest tournaments on the ATP calendar. He won the 2014 Barclays ATP World Tour Finals and followed that with the victory in the 2015 Australian Open. Djokovic’s tour-level title performance improved to 52-23 and these victories have taken him more than 5000 points clear of Roger Federer, who occupies the second spot in Emirates ATP Ranking.
In Sunday’s final against Czech Republic’s Tomas Berdych, Novak Djokovic ran into early trouble and it took him three sets to beat the Czech. In a dramatic first set, Berdych stormed to an early lead by breaking Djokovic in the first game and winning 8 out of the first 10 points. The first real pressure from Djokovic came in the sixth game with Berdych serving. The Czech was down a break point but saved it by a second-serve winner. But the Serb earned another break point in the game and converted it, when a forehand from Berdych fell wide. On Berdych’s serve two games’ later, Djokovic broke again and led 5-3 with his service coming up. But the Czech was valiant and he broke Djokovic and held his serve to bring the scores level at 5-5. The fight for the set got intensified as Djokovic kept Berdych’s backhand busy with relentless cross-court backhands shots of his own. Finally it was the Serb, who took the set 7-5 in 53 minutes.
Before the second set could get underway, it began to rain and play had to be interrupted. After about an hour, when the skies cleared, Berdych mounted pressure and using powerful forehand volleys, broke the Serb to take a 4-3 lead. The break proved vital as a decider was forced, when Berdych pocketed the set 6-4. Ironically, however, Berdych’s forehand shots brought his downfall in the third set as he couldn’t keep the ball in court. These unforced errors helped Djokovic open up a 4-0 lead and he closed the match at 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 in 2 hours and 43 minutes.
In the men’s doubles final, top seeds and world no.1 Bob and Mike Bryan collected their 106th tour-level team title by defeating Italy’s Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini 7-6, 6-1. This was the Bryan Brothers’ fifth Monte-Carlo Masters victory. In a match watched by HRH Prince Albert of Monaco, the Bryans fought hard with the Italian duo before edging them out 7-6 in the first set tiebreak. The second set was much easier and the brothers stormed to a 4-0 lead before sealing victory in 69 minutes.