Novak Djokovic defeats Stefanos Tsitsipas in Astana Open final to win his 90th career ATP title in a three-set final on Sunday. It was his fourth title of the year. (Photo: Getty Images)
Novak Djokovic is known for not losing to his opponent. But he did on Sunday against a man who has defeated him before.
The world No. 1, ranked No. 5 in the ATP and No. 13 in the WTA, dropped only a set in beating Stefanos Tsitsipas, the No. 3 seed in the Astana Open.
Tensions were running high on Sunday, with Djokovic serving three times in the final set with Tsitsipas serving two.
The biggest upset of Sunday’s tournament was Djokovic’s loss to Gael Monfils. The two players met at the Australian Open in January and Djokovic’s first-round loss to Monfils gave him an unblemished record. At the US Open, Djokovic outlasted Tsitsipas in the fourth round, then rallied to defeat Denis Istomin in the quarterfinals, the winner defeating Djokovic in the final for the second consecutive week.
But on Sunday at the Astana event, Djokovic faced off against a 27-year-old who had won seven men’s ATP titles but was never able to win a match in a Grand Slam final. He had won only one match at the French Open against Stan Wawrinka, he lost to Fernando Verdasco in the fourth round at Wimbledon in January. He had never beaten Djokovic in a Grand Slam semifinal either. He was ranked No. 5, Djokovic was No. 8.
“I think I have got a lot of experience in these conditions,” Tsitsipas said. “He’s a great athlete, I think he’s a great athlete. But I think we’re both winners, so to be able to play in a final was special.”
Djokovic made his third straight appearance in the last 16 at the tournament and will next