Djokovic is pursuing his third victory in Madrid, having also triumphed in 2011 and 2016. The 31-year-old has never lost a championship match at the Caja Magica (2-0).
Djokovic put immediate pressure on the 20-year-old, earning two break points in Tsitsipas’ first service game. Although the eighth seed staved off the Serbian’s first opportunity with an inside-out forehand winner, Tsitsipas missed an inside-in forehand approach shot long to give the top seed the early break. Djokovic maintained his advantage throughout the opener, earning the first set after 41 minutes.
Tsitsipas has made a concerted effort to use the drop shot against the World No. 1, doing his best to keep the top seed off balance. But Djokovic has been locked in from the baseline, showing that he has returned to top form despite making just one quarter-final in three tournaments between his Australian Open triumph and Madrid.
Tsitsipas, who defeated Nadal in the semi-finals, won the pair’s only previous FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting last year in Toronto en route to his first Masters 1000 final. The Greek is trying to win his first trophy at this level.
Did You Know?
Djokovic has lost after taking the first set twice this year, doing so on both occasions against Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut (Doha and Miami).
Most ATP Masters 1000 Titles (since 1990)