Snakes n’ Ladders: Novak makes it nine
Originally published on: 15/08/11 10:21
The worthiest of world No.1s, Novak Djokovic continued to defy all perceptions of mortal ability after becoming the first player to win five ATP World Tour Masters 1000 events in a single season in Toronto.
The Serb defeated Mardy Fish 6-2 3-6 6-4 to secure his ninth title of 2011, the 27th of his career, and take his total prize money for the season to beyond $7.5million.
But despite his rich season, the 24-year-old has no plans to ease his foot off the gas.
“I’m not getting tired of this,” said Djokovic. “My team and I have done it again. It’s so great to win another title.”
The Belgrade native’s latest triumph takes him to 13,500 points on the South African Airways ATP Rankings list – a good 2,080 points ahead of second placed Rafael Nadal and well over double that of fourth-placed Andy Murray’s tally.
Fish, meanwhile, hops a place to a career-high No.7 in the ladder after reaching his third final on the bounce, while Jo-Wilfried Tsonga – also one of Djokovic’s victims – returns to the top 10 after a semi-final finish in Montreal.
Frenchman Jeremy Chardy is the biggest mover in the top 100 this week but heads in the wrong direction, plummeting 26 places to No.86 after failing to repeat his 2010 Toronto quarter-final run with a first round exit at the hands of Ivan Dodig.
In the women’s ladder, Kim Clijsters and Vera Zvonareva traded places at No.2 and No.3 despite early exits for both at the Rogers Cup. The Russian had better fortune, leapfrogging Clijsters – who was forced to retire injured midway through her opening round clash in Toronto – after reaching the third round, where she lost to Agnieszka Radwanska in straight sets. Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova also fell in the third round, but still rose a place to a career-high No.6, while Sam Stosur, who made the Rome final this May, returned to the top 10 after reaching her second final of the year.
Regardless of the movements in and around the top 10 it was Serena Williams, once again, who caught the headlines, rocketing 49 places to No.31 after adding to her Stanford triumph in July with her second straight tournament win at the Rogers Cup.
“I’m so excited. I never expected to do this well,” said the 29-year-old, who defeated the likes of Julia Goerges, Lucie Safarova and world No.4 Victoria Azarenka before despatching Stosur in the final. “I’m just so happy to be playing again, let alone winning. It’s cool.”