Djokovic Downs Cilic, Clinches Tel Aviv Open Title

Novak Djokovic (photo: Tel Aviv Watergen Open)

TEL AVIV/STARNBERG, October 2, 2022

Novak Djokovic has claimed the title of the Tel Aviv Watergen Open without dropping a set. The top seed of the ATP 250 hard-court event defeated second favourite Marin Cilic of Croatia 6-3, 6-4 on Sunday afternoon.

Djokovic withstood 13 aces and broke his opponent’s serve two times to secure victory in one hour and 34 minutes.

“My approach is to win tournaments wherever I am and I’m glad that I have a team of people around me that makes sure that I am in the best shape in order to be a contender to win titles,” Djokovic said. “That’s why I came to Israel, was to try to win the title. First time playing here [since a] Davis Cup tie more than 15 years ago, so it was a really amazing experience.”

By winning his 89th career title and third of the season, Djokovic pocketed in Israel $144,415 in prize money as well as 250 ATP Ranking points.

“I played some very good tennis, I think. I [didn’t] drop a set the entire week. I hadn’t played a tournament in three months, so it was really extra motivation for me to really do well, particularly because people have been so friendly and so supportive of me throughout the week. I’m taking some great confidence into next week as well,” said the World No. 7, who will compete in the Astana Open in Kazakhstan next week.

Bopanna/Middelkoop triumph in doubles

Earlier in the day, top seeds Rohan Bopanna of India and Dutchman Matwe Middelkoop claimed their first ATP Tour title as a team when they defeated third favourites Santiago Gonzalez of Mexico and Andres Molteni from Argentina 6-2, 6-4 in the championship match.

“It feels really good of course. You know you’re on the right path and this gives you that extra cherry on top, I feel,” Middelkoop said. “Not even [winning the title] title, I think the way we played today showed what we are capable of and I think that’s the most important thing for me, what I take out of this day.”

Bopanna added: “I think those close matches, pulling through those you’re obviously having more court time, you’re trying to come through and fight some close battles. We were a couple of points or one point away from losing those matches, so sometimes those weeks make a huge difference for your confidence.”

Bopanna and Middelkoop split $50,180 in prize money and collected 250 ATP Doubles Ranking points.