Djokovic surges on but Murray faces running out of time

 

There is no stopping Novak Djokovic. The 24-year-old Serb, playing in his first tournament since becoming world No 1, maintained his extraordinary run of success when he won the Montreal Masters last night. In beating the American Mardy Fish 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 in the final, Djokovic became the first man ever to win five of the nine Masters Series titles in the same year. Three of the tournaments still have to be played.

Djokovic has played 54 matches this year and lost just once, to Roger Federer in the semi-finals of the French Open. He has won ever other tournament in which he has competed, including the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the Masters Series events in Indian Wells, Miami, Madrid, Rome and now Montreal. The year's final Grand Slam tournament, the US Open, begins in a fortnight's time, while the next Masters event is taking place in Cincinnati this week.

While there is no sign of a drop in Djokovic's form, the next three players in the world rankings will all be hoping for a good run in Cincinnati after making early exits in Montreal. Federer won only one match before losing to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, while Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray lost first time out, to Croatia's Ivan Dodig and South Africa's Kevin Anderson respectively.

For the last two years Murray has gone into his final tournament before the US Open at the top of his game, but as the world No 4 prepares for Cincinnati he knows that time is running out if he is to find his form before the concluding Grand Slam event of the season. After deciding to play only two tournaments in the build-up to New York, the Scot has given himself little room to manoeuvre.

Part of Murray's thinking was that he may have peaked too early in his last two summer hard-court seasons in north America. On both occasions he won the first Masters Series title of the campaign in Canada only to falter subsequently at Flushing Meadows. The US Open, where Murray won the junior title and reached his first senior Grand Slam final three years ago, has traditionally been his favourite event, but on his last two visits he has gone out in the fourth round to Marin Cilic and in the third to Stanislas Wawrinka.

A successful week in Cincinnati would put Murray back on track, though the draw has not made life easy for him. After a first-round bye his second-round opponent could be David Nalbandian, while Tsonga could await in the third, although the Frenchman retired hurt with an arm injury against Djokovic in the semi-finals in Montreal. Murray is seeded to meet David Ferrer in the quarter-finals and Nadal in the semi-finals.

Serena Williams extended her remarkable winning to 11 matches when she beat Australia's Sam Stosur 6-4, 6-2 in the final in Toronto last night. Williams, who returned to competition in June after 11 months out of the game, has won both her tournaments since Wimbledon and has quickly established herself as the favourite to win the US Open for a fourth time.

Voices
A Russian hunter at the Medved bear-hunting lodge in Siberia
Save the tigerWildlife charities turn to those who kill animals to help save them
News
Davis says: 'My career has been about filling a niche - there were fewer short actors and fewer roles – but now I'm being offered all kinds of things'
PeopleWarwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
News
i100
Sport
Frank Lampard will pass Billy Wright and equal Bobby Charton’s caps tally of 106 caps against
sportFormer Chelsea midfielder in Etihad stopgap before New York contract
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
The first film introduced Daniel Radcliffe to our screens, pictured here as he prepares to board the train to Hogwarts for the first time.
booksHow reading Harry Potter helps children grow up to be gay-friendly
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Aladdin is performed at the Tony Awards in New York in June
theatreBrit producer Lythgoe makes kids' musical comedy a Los Angeles hit
Sport
Usain Bolt of Jamaica smiles and shakes hands with a competitor after Jamaica won their first heat in the men's 4x100m relay
sport
News
Chancellor George Osborne, along with the Prime Minister, have been 'complacently claiming the economy is now fixed', according to shadow Chancellor Ed Balls
i100... which is awkward, because he is their boss, after all
Life and Style
A small bag of the drug Ecstasy
Health
Life and Style
Floral-print swim shorts, £26, by Topman, topman.com; sunglasses, £215, by Paul Smith, mpaulsmith.co.uk
FashionBag yourself the perfect pair
News
news
News
Netherlands' goalkeeper Tim Krul fails to make a save from Costa Rica's midfielder Celso Borges during a penalty shoot-out in the quarter-final between Netherlands and Costa Rica during the 2014 FIFA World Cup
newsGoalkeepers suffer from 'gambler’s fallacy' during shoot-outs
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmReview: A week late, Secret Cinema arrives as interactive screening goes Back to the Future
Extras
indybest
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Save the Tiger: Meet the hunters tasked with protecting Russia's rare Amur tiger

Hunters protect Russia's rare Amur tiger

In an unusual move, wildlife charities have enlisted those who kill animals to help save them. Oliver Poole travels to Siberia to investigate
Transfers: How has your club fared in summer sales?

How has your club fared in summer sales?

Who have bagged the bargain buys and who have landed the giant turkeys
Warwick Davis: The British actor on Ricky Gervais, how the Harry Potter set became his office, and why he'd like to play a spy

'I'm a realist; I know how hard this business is'

Warwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
The best swim shorts for men: Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer

The best swim shorts for men

Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer
Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

Meet the couple blamed for bringing Lucifer into local politics
Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup