May 20, 2024

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Novak Djokovic cruised to a record-extending seventh Paris Masters title

Novak Djokovic denies Grigor Dimitrov to claim seventh Paris Masters crown, and became the first tennis player to win 40 Masters ATP 1000 titles, after beating Grigor Dimitrov 6-4, 6-3 in the final on Sunday.

The world No 1’s sixth trophy this season helped him to extend his lead over the second-ranked Carlos Alcaraz in the race to the year-end top spot. Djokovic will now head to the ATP Finals in Turin, primed to seal the deal after emerging triumphant from series of close matches this week.

He said. “It’s incredible to be able to win after quite challenging circumstances for me this week,” Coming back from the brink of losing three matches in a row on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The 24-times grand slam winner needed three sets to beat Tallon Griekspoor, Holger Rune and Andrey Rublev en route to the final.

“I was close to losing those matches and somehow managed to find an extra gear when it was needed,” Djokovic added. “Today, we both were quite tight at the beginning, and I could see he was running out of gas a little bit. The match was closer than the score line indicates but another amazing win. I’m very proud of this one.”

In a clash featuring the two oldest players in the world’s top 20, the 36-year-old Djokovic drew first blood, breaking the 17th-ranked Dimitrov for a 4-3 lead in the opening set, before closing it out comfortably in 51 minutes.

The unseeded Dimitrov’s only victory over Djokovic in 12 previous meetings came a decade ago and although the 32-year-old put up more of a fight in the second set, he could not prevent Djokovic from taking his 40th career Masters crown, which puts him four ahead of his nearest rival, Rafael Nadal.

After his loss to Djokovic on Sunday, Grigor Dimitrov highlighted he’s in a good position to make another run at the Top 10, he only won back-to-back matches at two of his first 10 tournaments of 2023, so he’ll have a great chance of moving up in early 2024.

“One thing I know for sure is that I just want to put myself in those positions every single time, which means that every time I get out there to play is like I’m there to play,” he said. “I want to make sure I capitalize on those moments, of course. This week, in quite a few matches, things could have turned completely different for me, but I was able to stay. I was able to be very good mentally and physically, as well, even though I was struggling with quite a few things”.

“So all in all, there is a lot of positives that I can take from that. But also in the same time I need to look at some of the things that I can improve, some of the things that I can come back and maybe do better. I feel there are some very little details that I’m sure if I improve a little bit, it can make a very big change in my game.” He added.

Grigor Dimitrov rises from No. 17 to No. 14 today after a sensational run in Paris, where he took out Top 10 players Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas en route to the second Masters 1000 final of his career before falling to Djokovic.

And it’s a special ranking move for the Bulgarian, because this is his first time in the top 15 in five years, since he was No.10 the week of October 29th to November 4th, 2018. He fell to No.19 on November 5th, 2018 after his points from winning the ATP Finals the year before dropped off, and though he’s been in and out of the Top 20 in the years since, he never returned to the Top 15 until now.

By winning his record-extending 40th Masters 1000 title in Paris, Novak Djokovic has increased his lead over Carlos Alcaraz in the race for year-end No. 1 to 1,490 points—9,945 to 8,455—putting him on the verge of finishing No. 1 for a record-extending eighth time.

The only way Alcaraz can become year-end No. 1 at this point is if he wins the ATP Finals undefeated, which would earn him 1,500 points, and if Djokovic doesn’t win a single match at the event—Alcaraz would then pass him by 10 points.

A player earns 200 points for each round-robin win at the ATP Finals, 400 points for a semifinal win and 500 points for a final win.

Djokovic’s winning run now extends to 18 matches, he has not lost since the Wimbledon final defeat to Alcaraz in July. He will be the hot favorite for the ATP Finals, which will also feature Alcaraz, Rune, Rublev, Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Jannik Sinner and Alexander Zverev.

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