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Djokovic wins first title since Wimbledon

Novak Djokovic has returned to winning ways with success in the Tel Aviv Open, his third tournament win of a year disrupted by COVID-19 vaccine-related bans.

October 3, 2022
By AAP
3 October 2022

Novak Djokovic has scooped his 89th career title with victory over Marin Cilic in the Tel Aviv Open final.

Playing his first singles event since winning Wimbledon in July, Djokovic landed a 6-3 6-4 victory, improving his career head-to-head winning record to 19-2 against former US Open champion Cilic.

He broke serve to lead 3-1 in Sunday’s opening set, and then struck immediately in the second set to tighten his grip on the contest, completing the task with a service winner on his first championship point.

This indoor hard-court success goes down as a third title of the year for Djokovic, who won the Internazionali d’Italia on clay before triumphing on the Wimbledon grass. He is the first man to win a title on all three surfaces in 2022 at ATP Tour level.

Prevented from playing the North American hard-court stretch of the season, due to his refusal to accept a COVID-19 vaccination, Djokovic sat out the US Open.

He made his first post-Wimbledon appearance at the invitational Laver Cup team event in London last week, which doubled up as Roger Federer’s retirement party.

At the age of 35, Djokovic hopes to be a presence on tour for a good while to come, and Sunday’s straight-sets picking apart of Cilic was a fresh demonstration of his enduring prowess.

In Bulgaria Switzerland’s Marc-Andrea Huesler upset Danish teenager Holger Rune 6-4 7-6 (10-8) to win the Sofia Open.

It was the world No.95’s maiden title.

“I am completely taken aback. I am lost for words,” he said: “I just tried to stay focused, stayed calm and I am just really happy I was able to make it.

“This whole week has been a complete fairy tale for me. I would have been happy to pass a couple of rounds and I’m holding the trophy here.”

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