Novak Djokovic lost against Stefanos Tsitsipas, thus handed over his crown at the Shanghai Rolex Masters. With this defeat, the Serbian player also questioned his No.1 position in the ATP rankings, which could end up in Rafael Nadal’s possession at the end of the year. In the end, it was 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 for Tsitsipas.
The 16-time Grand Slam champion opened the match extremely well, and it appears that he isn’t going to have much trouble against the young Greek. Djokovic took his serve already in the second game of the match and imposed a tempo, Tsitsipas couldn’t follow. However, as the set neared its end, it was obvious that the No.7 in the rankings is feeling much more comfortable on the court and that he had figured out how to compete with the Joker. The Serb won this sequence, solely because of his excellent serves in the finish.
But a 1-0 lead didn’t mean too much for him. Especially from the midpoint of the second set. The intensity of Novak’s play significantly dropped, and it was not him who couldn’t follow Tsitsipas’ tempo. He got away once at 15-40, but in the 12th game of the set, the Greek youngster took his serve and claimed that part of the contest. But to make it even worse, Novak had three game-points, and couldn’t convert a single one. It is something highly unusual for the Joker.
The momentum shifted on to Tsitsipas’ side, and he continued to play like possessed, not allowing Novak to catch his breath. He immediately took the rival’s serve for 3-1. In the remaining three games of his own, he lost 4 points combined, and that pretty much shows the level of his tennis today.
Even Djokovic had nothing to say after the contest, but to congratulate his opponent on a well-deserved victory.
“He had the high-quality tennis, and he played very well after his serve. He was backing up his serve with really good and aggressive first shots in the rally,” Djokovic said. “I didn’t make him defend enough. I just gave him enough time to really dictate the play from the back of the court, and he deserved to win.”
Novak is now in a tough situation. After losing today, he also lost 820 points, which he had to defend here in Shanghai. It now decreased his advantage over Nadal in the ATP rankings to only 320 points, and his No.1 is under threat. He has 1600 points to defend until the end of the season, 600 at Paris Masters, and 1000 at the ATP Masters Finals in London. On both occasions, he reached the finals but lost.
Masters in the capital of France starta on October 26 and lasts until November 3, and the competition in London takes place between November 10 and 18.
Tsitsipas will be there also, as he secured his spot at the Masters Finals for the first time ever, even before this victory. As for his quest in Shanghai, the Greek now plays against Daniil Medvedev in the semifinals, as the Russian eliminated Fabio Fognini in straight sets.
So far, the Russian player who is two years older than his rival won all the previous four contests. The latest one was in Monte Carlo this year, 2-1. Prior to that in Basel, Miami, and at the US Open, all in 2018. According to the bookies, Medvedev is the favorite due to his fantastic performances since the start of the American tour.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.