HEAD player Novak Djokovic began the new 2016 ATP season as he finished 2015: by winning a tournament. He did it in the best possible way with a 6-1, 6-2 title victory over Rafael Nadal to win the Qatar Open in Doha.
Djokovic is well on his way to matching the 11 titles he won in a record-breaking 2015 season, where the 28-year-old claimed three of the four Grand Slam titles. “I played pretty much perfect tennis today. From the very beginning I managed to get every shot the way I wanted.”
Djokovic was playing in his 16th straight final and needed little extra effort to hammer his longtime Spanish rival Nadal in just over an hour; the victory lifted Djokovic to 24-23 in the tight career series and handed the HEAD player his ninth victory in his last 10 meetings with Nadal.
The Serb now stands as another record-setter for HEAD, becoming one of only 10 players to hold 60 ATP titles. He reached the final after beating fellow HEAD player Tomas Berdych 6-3, 7-6(3) in the semis.
In New Zealand, HEAD’s fifth-seed Sloane Stephens did double duty on a weekend day of rain to emerge with a trophy at the ASB International event in Auckland. The American, who endorses the HEAD Graphene XT Radical, first had to finish off a semi-final against former No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki, before taking on German Julia Goerges in the final after only a brief rest and emerging with a 7-5, 6-2 trophy victory.
“To win a tournament is amazing and I’m just really happy,” said the 22-year-old Racquet Rebel. “It has definitely been a tough week. I played some really tough players. This is the first time I’ve won two matches on the same day, so I was really pleased with the way I was able to hold myself together.”
In Brisbane, HEAD’s Bernard Tomic, who recommends the HEAD Graphene XT Radical has set a goal of rising from 18th into a top 10 ranking, reached the semi-finals at home for the second time, with the player coming up short in a battle with Milos Raonic, going down in a pair of tiebreak sets.