M 1000 BNP PARIBAS. France
The world’s number one ranked tennis player, Novak Djokovic, is set to face his rivals in the year-end event next weekend with an impressive 18-match winning streak. Fresh off his 40th Masters 1000 tournament victory, Djokovic has been on a remarkable run.
Since his defeat to Carlos Alcaraz in the Wimbledon final back in July, Djokovic has not lost a single match. He added another feather to his cap by securing a record-extending seventh title at the Paris Masters last Sunday. In the final, he displayed his dominance with a convincing 6-4, 6-3 win over Grigor Dimitrov.
Despite facing some challenging circumstances, including a battle with a stomach virus in Paris, Djokovic managed to find an extra gear when it mattered most. «Incredible. To be able to win it after quite challenging circumstances for me this week,» said Djokovic. «Basically, coming back from the brink of losing three matches in a row, on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. I was very close to losing those matches and somehow managed to find an extra gear when it was needed.»
In the final, Djokovic was in complete control right from the start, while Dimitrov struggled to find his rhythm, allowing Djokovic to dictate the play. Dimitrov was second-best in all aspects of the game, and this victory improved Djokovic’s record against Dimitrov to 12-1.
Djokovic’s serve was untouchable, as he didn’t face a single break point. With this win, he extended his lead over Alcaraz in the race for the No. 1 spot to 1,490 points, making it highly likely that he will finish the year as the top-ranked player for an unprecedented eighth time.
During the match, Djokovic dropped just seven points on his serve in the opening set and broke for a 4-3 lead. Despite some sections of the crowd booing and whistling as he walked back to his chair, Djokovic remained unfazed and even appeared amused. He playfully gestured towards the crowd, encouraging them to make more noise.
Dimitrov found himself in trouble on his serve in the fifth game of the second set, ultimately getting broken after a series of mistakes. Djokovic didn’t ease up and won his next serve game effortlessly, taking a 4-2 lead. He secured another break in the ninth game, as Dimitrov’s last backhand shot sailed out of bounds.
«Today, I think we both were quite tight at the beginning, and I could see that he was running out of gas a little bit,» Djokovic said. «Myself as well, but I somehow managed to find an extra shot over the net. I think the match was closer than the scoreline indicates, but another amazing win for me. I’m very proud of this one, considering what I’ve been through this week.»