London | ATP Round Up – Djokovic claims 89th title while Nishioka and Huesler stun final opponents

Novak Djokovic claimed his third title of the season and the 89th of his career with a comfortable straight-sets victory over Marin Cilic in the Tel Aviv Watergen Open final which was his first tournament since winning Wimbledon back in July.

I hadn’t played a tournament in three months, so it was really extra motivation for me to really do well, particularly because people have been so friendly and so supportive of me throughout the week. I’m taking some great confidence into next week as well Novak Djokovic

The 35-year-old Serbian triumphed 6-3 6-4 for his 19th win over the Croat in 21 meetings to add the Israeli hard-court trophy to victories on the clay of Rome and Wimbledon’s grass to become the only player to have collected titles on all three surfaces this season.

“I played some very good tennis. I didn’t drop a set the entire week,” the former world number one said proudly in what was his 127th career final.

“I hadn’t played a tournament in three months, so it was really extra motivation for me to really do well, particularly because people have been so friendly and so supportive of me throughout the week. I’m taking some great confidence into next week as well.

“My approach is to win tournaments wherever I am and I’m glad that I have a team of people around me that makes sure that I am in the best shape in order to be a contender to win titles,” he cotinued.

“That’s why I came to Israel, was to try to win the title. First time playing here since a Davis Cup tie more than 15 years ago, so it was a really amazing experience.”

On Sunday, Djokovic broke 34-year-old Cilic in the second game of the final and pocketed the first set with a fourth ace after 47 minutes on court.

Former US Open winner Cilic, chasing his 21st career title but first of 2022, was broken in the first game of the second set and never recovered.

“Just everything really that we experienced this week was positive,” added Djokovic after his 94-minute triumph in which he only faced one break point.

Djokovic now heads to the Astana ATP tournament where world number one and US Open champion Carlos Alcaraz tops the seedings.


Yoshihito Nishioka on his to his second title

UNG YEON-JE/AFP via Getty Images

In Korea Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka stunned fourth seed Denis Shapovalov of Canada 6-4 7-6(5) to win the Korea Open for his second ATP title.

Nishioka defeated world number two Casper Ruud of Norway on the way to the final and he was neck-and-neck in the first set against Shapovalov, until he broke in the 10th game to take the opener.

Shapovalov, who was also chasing a second title, took the upper hand early in the second set only for the 27-year-old Nishioka to bounce back, levelling the set and then snatching the match and the title on the tie-break.

In Bulgaria, Switzerland’s Marc-Andrea Huesler collected his first career title by dispatching the Danish teenage prodigy Holger Rune 6-4 7-6(8).

The 26-year-old Huesler had never before played in an ATP final and wasn’t even in the Top 100 a month ago. But the 6-foot-5 Swiss is on a roll having made the Winston semi-finals and a few weeks later, not only making his first final but actually collecting the title.

“I played a great, great match for sure,” Huesler said told the crowd. “I am completely taken aback. I am lost for words. it was a great match. I just tried to stay focused, stayed calm and I am just really happy I was able to make it.”

The unseeded Huesler also got the better of Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta and Lorenzo Musetti of Italy, both seeds, during this best week of his career.

“This whole week has been a complete fairy tale for me,” he added. “I would have been happy to pass a couple of rounds and I’m holding the trophy here!”

The 19-year-old Rune was seeking his second title of the year. He led the defending champion, Italy’s Jannik Sinner 5-2 in the third before the Italian retired with an ankle injury suffered earlier in their semi-final.





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