Novak Djokovic cruised to a record-extending seventh Paris Masters title, and became the first player to claim 40 Masters ATP 1000 titles, after beating Grigor Dimitrov 6-4, 6-3 in the final on Sunday.
The top-ranked player in the world, Djokovic, won his sixth trophy of the season, further solidifying his lead over second-ranked Carlos Alcaraz in the race for the year-end top spot. Djokovic will now compete in the ATP Finals in Turin, with the opportunity to secure the top spot after winning a string of close matches this week.
“It’s truly amazing to achieve victory after facing such difficult circumstances this week,” stated Djokovic. “I was on the brink of losing three consecutive matches on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.” The 24-time grand slam champion had to play three sets against Tallon Griekspoor, Holger Rune, and Andrey Rublev to reach the final.
“I was on the brink of losing those games, but I somehow dug deep and found an additional level when it was crucial,” stated Djokovic. “Both of us were quite tense at the start, and I could tell that he was starting to tire out. The match was closer than the final score suggests, but it’s another incredible victory. I am extremely proud of this one.”
In a match between the two most senior players in the top 20 rankings, Djokovic, at 36 years old, gained an early advantage by breaking Dimitrov, ranked 17th, and taking a 4-3 lead in the first set. He then easily closed out the set in just 51 minutes.
Dimitrov, who was not expected to win, has only beaten Djokovic once in their 12 past matches. This win was ten years ago. Despite putting up a stronger fight in the second set, the 32-year-old was unable to stop Djokovic from claiming his 40th Masters title. This puts him four ahead of his closest competitor, Rafael Nadal.
Novak Djokovic has now won 18 consecutive matches, as he has not been defeated since losing to Alcaraz in the Wimbledon final in July. He is the top contender for the upcoming ATP Finals, where Alcaraz, Rune, Rublev, Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Jannik Sinner, and Alexander Zverev will also compete.
Dimitrov, on the other hand, was in tears while wiping his face with a towel after failing to secure his first title in six years. Djokovic, who paused his post-match interview to embrace his defeated opponent, stated, “I have experienced this scenario numerous times, losing in finals.”
“I have been fortunate enough to emerge victorious in more finals than I have lost. I sincerely hope that he will maintain his exceptional performance. He has been showcasing some of his finest tennis this week and I wish him all the success. My hope is that he will triumph in major tournaments.”