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.

News
people
News
Amazon's drones were unveiled last year.
business
Arts and Entertainment
Russell Tovey, Myanna Buring and Julian Rhind Tutt star in Banished
tvReview: The latest episode was a smidgen less depressing... but it’s hardly a bonza beach party
Life and Style
Worth shelling out for: Atlantic lobsters are especially meaty
food + drink
Sport
Gareth Bale
footballPaul Scholes on how Real Madrid's Welsh winger would be a perfect fit at Old Trafford if he leaves Spain
Arts and Entertainment
Lily James in ‘Cinderella’
film
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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.

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss