TORONTO—Novak Djokovic has won the Rogers Cup men’s singles title.
The top-seeded Serbian defeated Japan’s Kei Nishikori 6-3, 7-5, in the tournament’s final after a short rain delay.
It’s Djokovic’s fourth Rogers Cup title, still short of Ivan Lendl’s record of six.
He last won in 2012, and also claimed the title in 2011 and 2007.
Both players relied on their return game throughout the match, with Djokovic earning five aces to Nishikori’s four. Unforced errors also played a huge role, with Nishikori making 28 to Djokovic’s 18.
Nishikori tied the second set 3-3 with a forehand return down the line that stopped Djokovic in his tracks. After the break point Nishikori bent over, clenching his fist in celebration.
That marked a shift in momentum, as Nishikori scored five straight points to take a 4-3 lead. Djokovic composed himself in the next game, making the most of having serve to tie it back up at 4-4.
Nishikori dug down for a high volley over the net that Djokovic could have easily returned. Instead, the world No. 1 returned it too deep and out on the next game point for a 5-4 Nishikori lead. Djokovic tied it right back up with an ace down the middle and give Nishikori the serve back.
Djokovic restrained himself from smashing his racket on the ground after his shot went deep to give Nishikori a 40-30 advantage in the next game, but he earned the point right back on the next play. Nishikori again had the advantage after Djokovic netted another shot.
Nishikori didn’t make the most of that opportunity, with his shot going out of bounds to give Djokovic a 6-5 lead.
Nishikori had the championship point at deuces but put the ball into the net to give Djokovic advantage.
Nishikori shanked Djokovic’s ensuing serve, giving the Serbian player his seventh title of the ATP season. He will also represent Serbia at the Rio Olympics.
Djokovic just nodded in appreciation as one of Nishikori’s rare aces sailed by him on game point to make it 2-2 in the first set.
Nishikori’s own mental errors cost him several games in the first set. He put several shots into the net then returned the ball high and wide to give Djokovic a 5-2 lead.
Djokovic won the first set on a wild exchange with both players making desperate stabs at the ball that arched high and barely stayed in. Nishikori’s final wild shot went slightly too deep — close enough that Djokovic returned it as the line judge ruled it out.
The capacity crowd at York University’s Aviva Centre roared its appreciation of the performance as Djokovic flexed and shouted.
Earlier, Croatia’s Ivan Dodig and Brazil’s Marcelo Melo topped Great Britian’s Jamie Murray and Brazil’s Bruno Soares 6-4, 6-4 to win the tournament’s doubles title.
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