Novak Djokovic is back at the Cincinnati masters 1000 after his defeat against Stefanos Tsitsipas in Toronto. Djokovic defeated S.Johnson in straight sets (6-4, 7-6), despite a tight affair in the second set. The Serb credited Johnson for not giving up and making Djokovic increase his level to close out the match.
‘Overall, you know, I thought that I should have closed it earlier, but credit to him for fighting, fighting back, playing some good points when he needed to, big serves’, said Djokovic. ‘But it was always going to be a tough one. Playing Stevie in front of the American crowd, obviously, on center court, he had not much to lose. So he came out playing well.’
The Serb has been slowly climbing up the ladder in the ATP singles rankings, and is excited with the prospect of playing against the rising youngsters, despite their poor show in Grand Slams. ‘Though I think age is just a number, but still, most of us, you know, players that were winning most of the big tournaments in the last decade’, said Djokovic. ‘I think the top guys are hanging in there, and it’s a good mix now that we have — I feel like it’s good times for men’s tennis’, he added.
‘It’s normal to expect that you have new faces on the tour, Zverev, who is now established top 3, 4, 5 player in the world for quite a long time’, said Novak. ‘You know, Tsitsipas, Coric, Shapovalov, you have a lot of those NextGen players that are making their mark in the tennis, and this is the new generation this is coming in. I don’t think that’s something weird, you know, or unexpected. It’s just, it had to happen’.
Djokovic is currently facing off against Adrian Mannarino at the Cinicinnati masters, from which Rafael Nadal has excluded himself.