Monaco - Novak Djokovic set another career record on Sunday with his second
Monte Carlo title, as the Serb became the first man to win the opening
three Masters 1000 events in a season through a 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 defeat of
The top seed, who lives just a few hundred metres
away from the centre court, had to survive a comeback from his Czech
rival as well as a 70-minute rain interruption which came as he led by a
set and 3-2 on serve in the second.
Djokovic's victory was his
17th straight win of the season and also marked a fourth straight
Masters 1000 title after also winning at Paris Bercy last November.
was a tough match, a particular match," 2013 Monte Carlo winner
Djokovic said of a somewhat frustrating win, where he struck 38 unforced
errors, lost his first set of the week and converted on only five of 14
"Tomas played a great match and deserves this trophy as much as I do. It was a good final, but bad luck today."
Djokovic now owns 52 career titles and 23 at the elite Masters level. He stands 19-2 over Berdych and 30-2 this season.
Berdych missed a chance to move up to a career-best number four in the world.
"What can I say," said the Czech. "Novak had another excellent week, I tried my best but it was not good enough today.
missing that one step in my clay game but I'm going to work to raise my
game that little bit. I'll do what I can to make that happen and hope
to come back next year and go a step further"."
Djokovic won the opening set comfortably but was unable to come back after the rain break and close it out in straight sets.
Instead, Berdych got the early momentum upon the return and levelled at a set each.
In the third, Djokovic again seized the initiative, going up two breaks only to lose one of them.
saved a match point, holding for 3-5 with an overhead winner. But
Djokovic prevailed a game later as the Czech's service return sailed
just long over the baseline.