There was no photo. While the poster was attractive on paper and Stefanos Tsitsipas had an interesting start to the final, Novak Djokovic was simply too strong on Sunday to win the Astana Open (ATP 500). The Serbian played a solid game, giving the impression of having no flaws to win with authority in two sets (6-3, 6-4) and 1h16 of play against the Greek. He thus obtains the 90th trophy of his career on the ATP circuit, the fourth in 2022 and above all the third consecutive after Tel Aviv last week and… Wimbledon three months ago.
In search of points and cannon at the end of the season: Djokovic-Tsitsipas, a final to redeem himself
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Who can stop him at the end of the season? At this rate, the question deserves to be asked. Physically fresh for this stretch of home due to a season fragmented by forced breaks (because not vaccinated), Novak Djokovic lines up the victories as the boss of the circuit who was unquestionably stopped last year. On Sunday Stefanos Tsitsipas entered the match very well, with strong offensive intentions. But he paid dearly for his first moment of hesitation and didn’t have the slightest chance of recovering.
Impeccable service and 7 small, unforced errors
Because on the other side of the net he was the “Djoker” of the great days: the one capable of attacking the opponent at the slightest opportunity, but also of putting everything back in exchange when the battle from below hardens. Absolute master of tennis-percentage, he disgusted his rival after breaking him in the eighth game (5-3). To be convinced of the level of play reached by the Serbian and his surgical precision of the day just a quick look at his statistics: 15 winning shots for 7 small unforced errors and no break points immediately.
Physical and mental freshness at the top: because Djoko’s season finale promises to be great
Seven is also the number of his points lost on the serve. Djokovic was only slightly under pressure in the third game of this final where he found himself at 0/30. Tsitsipas then took advantage of every short ball, cleverly varied the backhand game by alternating dry hits and grazing slices, an area in which he has made progress in recent months. But the Serbian reacted quickly to everything and his length of the ball, both on the raise and in the exchange, gradually suffocated the Greek. With 79% of first serves, he has completely protected himself on his commitments and has shifted the pressure ever more frankly on the opposing serve games once the first set was in his pocket.
Officially qualified, he is already a favorite for the Masters
At the same time, Tsitsipas saw his first serve rate decrease, which made him more vulnerable in his second serve. At 2 games everywhere in the second set, he granted a new break, one too many, deprived of solutions by a Djokovic who forced him to play in strength. And even when the Greek caught the ball early and seemed to outflank his rival, he was punished by the Serbian’s precision in passing.
No, definitely, there was nothing to be done against the most underrated world number 7 in history. Djokovic now has 16 consecutive victories on the circuit, his last defeat in the quarter-finals at Roland Garros against Rafael Nadal. He has also won 25 of his last 26 games of him. And with Paris-Bercy and the Masters looming (for which he’s now qualified because he’s guaranteed to finish in the Race Top 20 and Wimbledon winner) on the horizon, it’s now hard not to get him down on the man.
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