Djokovic looks ahead to Rio after win in Toronto

TORONTO • Minutes after completing a 6-3, 7-5 ATP Toronto Masters final win over Kei Nishikori on Sunday for his 66th career title, Novak Djokovic shifted his focus to the Rio Olympics.

Tennis' world No. 1, who claimed his fourth Canadian title with a commanding performance over Asia's top player, will waste no time in heading to Brazil for the weekend start of the Summer Games.

"It's the biggest event in the history of sport, so to be part of it is already a huge privilege and honour that I will cherish, as I did in Beijing (where he won bronze) and London (where he lost to Argentina's Juan Martin del Potro in the third-place match) Olympic Games," said Djokovic.

"I'm approaching the Olympic Games as any other tournament. I'm trying to respect the same kind of preparation and routine that I have with my team and that I have respected for so many years."

The Serb lifted his game in Canada as the week progressed, sweeping to the title without the loss of a set and dispatching challenges from Gael Monfils in the semi-finals followed by Japan's Nishikori.

It was his first tournament since an upset third-round loss to American Sam Querrey on the grass of Wimbledon four weeks ago,

"Everything in life happens for a reason," said Djokovic.

"The fact that I lost in the first week of Wimbledon allowed me to have a week more of time with my family.

"Just the quality time off tennis, recharging my batteries, and then coming in here with plenty of motivation to do well."

The 29-year-old, who won his seventh trophy this season, added: "My two best performances arrived in the semi-finals and final - the right moments for me. That gives me a lot of confidence that I will try to carry into Rio."

In the women's final, Simona Halep beat a mistake-prone Madison Keys 7-6 (7-2), 6-3 to claim her 14th career singles crown.

The world No. 5 from Romania has now won 23 of her last 26 matches, a stretch that has included lifting titles in Madrid, Bucharest and now Montreal.

"I tried just to keep the ball away from her and to make her run. I think I did it pretty well, and she missed shots. It was really tough for me to hit winners today," Halep said.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 02, 2016, with the headline 'Djokovic looks ahead to Rio after win in Toronto'. Print Edition | Subscribe