Novak Djokovic continued his stunning start to the season with a brilliant victory over world number one Rafael Nadal in the final of the Madrid Open.
Djokovic, the world number 2, made it 32 wins out of 32 in 2011 and clinched his sixth successive title of the year after defeating home favourite and defending champion Nadal 7-5 6-4 in two hours and 17 minutes. That was Djokovic’s first win in 10 meetings with Nadal on clay, while it also brought an end to the Spaniard`s 37-match winning streak on the surface.
The victory also means Djokovic’s current winning streak is the second-best to start an ATP season since 1975, with John McEnroe holding the record with 42 successive triumphs in 1984.
The Serbian managed that, though, and then raced into a 4-0 lead after twice breaking Nadal and holding his other service game to love.
Meanwhile, Victoria Azarenka earned herself a place in the record books by becoming the highest-ranked Belarusian in WTA history. She reached the final of the Madrid Open, where she will play Petra Kvitova.
Azarenka, the world number 5, will climb up a place in the new rankings after booking her spot in Saturday’s final with a 6-4 6-2 victory over unseeded German Julia Goerges, who had knocked out world number one Caroline Wozniacki in the third round,
Azarenka, looking for her third title of the year after success in Miami and Marbella, had lost to Goerges in Stuttgart last month after being forced to retire with a shoulder injury when one set ahead.
When asked if there was an element of revenge about the win, the 21-year-old Azarenka said: “Yeah, it wasn’t really revenge but kind of. I did come very motivated to play this match and to show my best tennis and to win it.”