World no. 2 Novak Djokovic refuses to lose in the 2011 season. He defeated world no. 1 Rafael Nadal in the finals of the Mutua Madrid Open this week. He defeated Nadal, the defending champion of the clay court tournament, in straight sets, 7-5 6-4. This win marked Djokovic’s sixth straight title in the 2011 season, extending his winning streak to 34 straight games. Meanwhile, he snapped Nadal’s 35 game clay-court streak and defeated him on clay for the first time in their last 9 meetings on the surface. If he continues at this pace, winning his third 1000 point tournament of the season, he will soon take the world no. 1 spot from the reigning Nadal. Is this the start of a new era in the tennis world?
The top three seeds continue to breeze through the tournament, with Rafael Nadal (no. 1) defeating Michael Llodra 6-2 6-2, Novak Djokovic (no. 2) defeating David Ferrer 6-4 4-6 6-3, and Roger Federer (no. 3) defeating Robin Soderling 7-6 6-4. The surprise comes from world no. 36 Thomaz Bellucci, who has had decisive victories over 4 seed Andy Murray and, most recently, 7 seed Tomas Berdych. He defeated Berdych in straight sets 7-6 6-3 to advance to the semifinals, where he will face Novak Djokovic, who has not lost a match yet this season. More on the Bellucci-Djokovic matchup here, and highlights from the Nadal-Llodra and Bellucci-Berdych matches here.
The Mutua Madrid Open in Spain celebrates its 10th anniversary this May. The ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament is annually held in Madrid on clay surface. Meanwhile, Novak Djokovic, the 2 seed, also has reason to celebrate: he has tied the 29-0 record of Ivan Lendl in 1986 for the third best start to a season. The top two are Bjorn Borg (33 in 1980) and John McEnroe (42 in 1984). Djokovic will play against 6 seed David Ferrer tomorrow in an attempt to pass Lendl and earn a trip to the semifinals. The 1 and 3 seeds, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, have also cruised their way to the quarterfinals in the tournament. 4 seed Andy Murray was upset in the third round of the tournament, losing in straight sets to unseeded Thomaz Bellucci.
Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic just keeps winning in the 2011 season. The world no. 2 has extended his winning streak to 25 straight games, over 3 different tournaments. This included the Masters 1000 tournament in Miami, the Sony Ericcson Open, in which Djokovic defeated Rafael Nadal in three sets after dropping the first. He is currently competing in the 250 point Belgrade tournament and defeated Andrian Unger 6-2 6-3 in the first round last Wednesday. He will face Blaz Kavcic, a fellow Serbian, in the next round.