Novak Djokovic bags record 37th Masters 1000 title

In a first Paris final to feature the top two players in the FedEx ATP Rankings since 1990, Djokovic had to overcome a tough start.

File photo - Novak Djokovic celebrates winning the Paris Masters; Credit: [email protected]

Novak Djokovic’s incredible weekend keeps getting better! A day after clinching a seventh year-end No.1 finish in the FedEx ATP Rankings, the Serbian has now secured a record-breaking 37th ATP Masters 1000 crown. He reached the milestone, by avenging his US Open final loss to Daniil Medvedev in the title clash of the Rolex Paris Masters. It was not an easy outing for the World No.1, as he had to dig deep to get past the Russian on Sunday. Djokovic, who shared an emotional embrace with children Stefan and Tara at the end of the court after match point, bounced back from a set down to capture his sixth Bercy title.

In a first Paris final to feature the top two players in the FedEx ATP Rankings since 1990, Djokovic had to overcome a tough start. He stayed patient to get past the No. 2-ranked defending champion Daniil Medvedev 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 in two hours and 15 minutes. “I went back and reviewed the final of the US Open to see what I did wrong and what I did right,” Djokovic told the Tennis Channel. 

“I tried to read the patterns of his serve and the ball toss, maybe. I tried to look for the small details, because it was a match of small margins. He started better, broke my serve in the first game and I came back. He served the first set out pretty comfortably, but I felt as if I was there.

“I thought it was only a matter of time when I was going to read his serve better, and start to make some plays. You can’t go through him. You have to find a way to play with controlled aggression, play the right shots at the right time and make him come in. It’s variety that wins matches against him. We both suffered on the court and there was a lot of gruelling rallies.”

Djokovic’s season keeps getting better

The 34-year-old had come within one victory of completing the Grand Slam in 2021. He went 27-1 at the four major championships, winning the trophies at the Australian Open, Roland Garros and Wimbledon. His bid to win all four Grand Slams in the same year ended in the US Open final loss to Daniil Medvedev.

It is also interesting to note that this marks the 17th time in the past 18 seasons (barring Andy Murray in 2016) that the year-end No. 1 has been held by one of Djokovic, Rafael Nadal (five times – 2008, ’10, ’13, ’17, ’19) and Roger Federer (also five times – 2004-07, ’09).

On the back of his 48th match win of this incredible season (48-6) on Sunday, the Serbian broke a tie with Rafael Nadal for most Masters 1000 titles. Djokovic, who won 27 of 36 points at the net and struck 38 winners, had dominated Medvedev in rallies under five shots (54 to 34).

After the match, Djokovic was asked about his serve-volley tactics. In response to it, the Serbian told the Tennis Channel, “He stands so far back in the court, so you try to open up the court with wide serves and come in. You still have to play some half volleys, some low volleys and come in, but you have the whole of the court to play with.”

Both finalists Djokovic and Medvedev will next head to Turin for the Nitto ATP Finals. It will be held at the Pala Alpitour in Turin from 14-21 November.

Sportslumo Desk

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