Novak Djokovic Beats Milos Raonic to Win 2020 Western and Southern Open Final

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistAugust 29, 2020

Novak Djokovic, of Serbia, returns a shot by Milos Raonic, of Canada, during the finals of the Western & Southern Open tennis tournament Saturday, Aug. 29, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Frank Franklin II/Associated Press

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic came from behind to beat 30th-ranked Milos Raonic 1-6, 6-3, 6-4, on Saturday to win the Western & Southern Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York City.

While the Western & Southern Open is usually held in Cincinnati, Ohio, it was moved to New York this year to cut down on travel amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The U.S. Open will be held in the same location beginning next week.

The victory was a significant one for Djokovic for several reasons, including the fact that he is now tied with Rafael Nadal for the most career ATP Masters titles with 35.

Also, Djokovic is now a two-time Western & Southern Open champion, meaning he has won each of the nine ATP Tour Masters 1000 tournaments multiple times.

While Djokovic has dominated Raonic over the years, the Serbian superstar was coming off a tough match against Roberto Bautista Agut in the semifinals that required him to win a third-set tiebreak.

Djokovic also needed to receive treatment on his neck twice during the match, so he likely wasn't 100 percent against his Canadian opponent in the final.

Djoker came out flat in the first set, as he had no break point opportunities and was broken twice by Raonic on three tries.

Raonic won the set in decisive fashion and with an exclamation point, as set point was his second ace of the set:

US Open Tennis @usopen

Opening set ✅ Milos Raonic takes the first set 6-1. Will the Canadian 🇨🇦 score his first win over Djokovic? https://t.co/MMnhdWiuX9

TSN's Mark Masters noted that it marked only the third time Raonic had ever taken a set from Djokovic:

Mark Masters @markhmasters

🇨🇦 Raonic has lost all 10 matches he's played against 🇷🇸 Djokovic ... only won two sets ('18 Cincinnati, '14 Rome) ... only won the 1st set once ('14 Rome)

Also, TSN's Michael Gallo pointed out that it was Raonic's first set win in an ATP Tour Masters 1000 final, as he lost in straight sets in each of his previous three finals:

Michael Gallo @Galloots

That was the first set won for Raonic in any of his three Masters 1000 finals. 2013 Montreal lost 6-2, 6-2 to Nadal 2014 Paris lost 6-2, 6-3 to Djokovic 2016 Indian Wells lost 6-2, 6-0 to Djokovic

All told, it took Raonic just 31 minutes to win the opening set, and he entered the second set with all of the momentum on his side.

Despite the events of the first set, the tide turned back in Djokovic's favor in the second. Like Raonic in the first, Djokovic did not face a single break point in the middle set.

Djoker only had one opportunity to break Raonic, and he did so to take a 4-2 lead in the set. Djokovic then held serve twice to force a decisive third set.

Raonic bounced back to break Djokovic early in the third set and was serving to go up 3-0, but Djokovic broke him right back thanks largely to his spectacular return:

Tennis TV @TennisTV

Vintage Novak! 👏 @DjokerNole with a flash of brilliance on return. @CInCyTennis https://t.co/7Ietba7Vbw

That break seemed to energize Nole, as he held serve on the next game and then broke Raonic again to go up 3-2 and take firm control of the set.

Djokovic served for the match at 5-4, and although he had to stave off a break point, he managed to close it out and complete the comeback win.

Tennis TV @TennisTV

The moment @DjokerNole claimed his SECOND Career Golden Masters 👏 Djokovic defeats Raonic for the @CincyTennis 🏆, 1-6 6-3 6-4. #CInCyTENNIS https://t.co/WKDSUoVEFc

Djoker improved to an incredible 23-0 on the season and now enters the U.S. Open as the heavy favorite, especially with neither Nadal nor Roger Federer playing in the tournament.

Meanwhile, Raonic proved that he could be a threat in the U.S. Open as well even though he was unable to seal the deal against Djokovic.