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Can Novak Djokovic’s relentless pursuit of Masters perfection be halted in Montreal?

11 Aug | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
Can Novak Djokovic’s relentless pursuit of Masters perfection be halted in Montreal?

Recharged after Wimbledon, the world No. 1 is overwhelming favourite to claim his fifth Masters 1000 title of 2015 at this week's Rogers Cup

Twenty-one victories, no defeats and four titles.

Novak Djokovic, who plays for the first time since winning Wimbledon at the Montreal Masters this week, boasts a perfect record in Masters 1000 events this season.

Wins in Indian Wells, Miami, Monte Carlo and Rome – plus the small matter of two Grand Slam titles – mean the Serbian is enjoying his greatest year on tour since 2011.

The intervening seasons – which yielded three major wins – were hardly underwhelming, but it is clear Djokovic has once again raised the standard of the sport.

19/20 – Novak Djokovic to win the Montreal Masters

A three-time Rogers Cup winner – the event alternates between this year’s location and Toronto – it is almost churlish to suggest another player will be able to beat him over the course of three sets.

That he lost in the third round last year to eventual winner and defending champion Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is barely relevant 12 months on.

But Djokovic will have to beat the world’s best players to win his seventh title of the calendar year, which would match last year’s haul with three months of the season still remaining.

This week’s tournament features eight of the top 10 in the rankings – Roger Federer is the highest profile absentee – including three former winners: the aforementioned Tsonga, Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal.

Murray, who laboured to a first-match defeat at the Citi Open last week, is seeded second in the absence of 34-year-old Federer, who is enjoying an extended break following the grass-court season.

4/1 – Andy Murray to win the Montreal Masters

It is the first time the 28-year-old will have played competitively since he and wife Kim confirmed they were expecting their first child.

While it is unlikely that typically low-key announcement had any significance on his sluggish performance in Washington last week, describing himself as being “exhausted” following his three-set defeat to Teymuraz Gabashvili does not bode well for a player who is aiming to progress past the quarter-finals for the first time since winning the second of his two titles here in 2010.

Three-time Rogers Cup champion Nadal, meanwhile, is a curious one.

The 29-year-old has claimed a trio of titles this year – most recently on the clay in Hamburg – but he has looked so far short of his best in the biggest tournaments this season. On hard courts, in particular, he is yet to progress past the quarters.

11/1 – Rafael Nadal to win the Montreal Masters

If anyone is going to stop a refreshed and recharged Djokovic from claiming the 25th Masters title of his career, it could be Kei Nishikori – the man who thwarted him in last year’s US Open semi-final.

Nishikori was forced to withdraw from SW19 due to a calf problem, but appears to be back to full fitness and top form after winning the 10th title of his career in Washington.

The victory took the 25-year-old to fourth in the world and, in the same half of the draw as Nadal and Murray, he is primed to progress to the final.

10/1 – Kei Nishikori to win the Montreal Masters

The third-oldest tour event after Wimbledon and the US Open, the Rogers Cup is rightly recognised as one of the most prestigious events on the ATP Tour.

It would be entirely fitting – and not at all surprising – if Djokovic, the world’s greatest tennis player, is standing on the winner’s podium on Sunday night.

5/4 – Novak Djokovic to win three Grand Slams in 2015

ATP Montreal Masters betting

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