Djokovic takes Tel Aviv title as he fends off Cilic
Novak Djokovic scooped his 89th career title with victory over Marin Cilic in Sunday's Tel Aviv Open final.
Playing his first singles event since winning Wimbledon in July, Djokovic landed a 6-3 6-4 victory, improving his career head-to-head winning record to 19-2 against former US Open champion Cilic.
He broke serve to lead 3-1 in the opening set, and then struck immediately in the second set to tighten his grip on the contest, completing the task with a service winner on his first championship point.
This indoor hard-court success goes down as a third title of the year for Djokovic, who won the Internazionali d'Italia on clay before triumphing on the Wimbledon grass. He is the first man to win a title on all three surfaces in 2022 at ATP Tour level.
Prevented from playing the North American hard-court stretch of the season, due to his refusal to accept a COVID-19 vaccination, Djokovic sat out the US Open.
He made his first post-Wimbledon appearance at the invitational Laver Cup team event in London last week, which doubled up as Roger Federer's retirement party.
At the age of 35, Djokovic hopes to be a presence on tour for a good while to come, and Sunday's straight-sets picking apart of Cilic was a fresh demonstration of his enduring prowess.