NOVAK DJOKOVIC joked he wants to go the whole season unbeaten – on the day Liverpool's Invincibles dreams crashed.
Jurgen Klopp's men were stunned by Watford on Saturday evening but hours beforehand Djokovic extended his own winning streak.
After battling back from three match points down to Gael Monfils in the semis – thanks in part to an outrageous Spider-Man shot – the Serb ace, 32, beat Greek star Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-3 6-4 in the Dubai final to secure his fifth crown at the ATP 500 event.
It was win No21 in a row for Djokovic – including all 18 of his matches in 2020 – but that is remarkably only his seventh-best unbeaten run.
He is still not even halfway to matching his feat in 2010-11, though, when he won a stunning 43 matches on the bounce, including the first 41 matches of the 2011 season before losing to Roger Federer at the French Open.
Djokovic quipped: "One of the targets is to go unbeaten for the whole season.
"No, I'm kidding! I'm not kidding actually…"
The Australian Open champion added: "I'm trying to embrace the moment and appreciate where I am.
"I think this has been one of the best starts of all the seasons I had in my career. I feel great on the court. I've been playing great tennis on the hard courts. That is my most successful and preferred surface.
"I'm just grateful that I'm playing well, feeling well. I've won many matches now in a row. I'll try to keep that run going.
"It's just way too early to speak about how long that run might go, the calculations. I try not to think about predictions."
After seeing the current world No1 claim his 79th-tour title, world No2 Rafael Nadal took his own tally up to 85 with his first of 2020.
The Spaniard, 33, lifted the Mexico Open for the third time, 15 years after the first, as he saw off Taylor Fritz 6-3 6-2.
Nadal crashed out to eventual-champion Nick Kyrgios a year ago as tensions rose between the pair.
But with Kyrgios retiring hurt in the opening round against Ugo Humbert and Alexander Zverev crashing out early, Nadal made a safe passage all the way to glory, only once dropping more than three games in a set across his five matches.
Nadal said: "I couldn’t be happier. I played a great event from the beginning to the end
"Acapulco was the first big title that I won in my career, so to be able to stay here after 15 years is amazing. I can’t thank enough the people who make me feel at home every single time."
And on the WTA Tour, Heather Watson ended her four-year trophy drought by picking up the ladies' title in Acapulco.
The Brit beat 17-year-old Leylah Fernandez 6-4 6-7 6-1 after almost three hours on court.
She eventually won it on her tenth match point despite letting five slip in the second-set tie-break.
But Watson regained her composure in the decider to seal the victory, her fourth career singles title and first since winning the Monterrey Open in 2016.
The 2016 Wimbledon mixed doubles champion, who will move back into the world's top 50 when the rankings are updated on Monday, said: "It was so up and down but I'm so happy to get my fourth title.
"It's been a few years, so I'm just really, really happy I came through that match.
"I had those [match] points in the second set, and I wasn't able to win that, but I was really pleased with how I stayed in the moment, and won that third set."
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