Novak Djokovic reigns in Paris yet again. For the sixth time overall, having won the 2016 French Open, but specifically, now, for the fifth time at the Rolex Paris Masters.
Djokovic gave Denis Shapovalov, in his first ATP Masters 1000 final, not too many opportunities in the final, beating the Canadian 6-3, 6-4 in just 65 minutes. It is his 34th ATP Masters 1000 title (from 50 finals), just one behind Rafa Nadal, and it is his 77th career title which ties him with John McEnroe and putting him behind Nadal on 84, Ivan Lendl 94, Roger Federer 103 and Jimmy Connors 109.
Despite the victory Djokovic will still lose the world No.1 ranking, Nadal moves into that spot however the Paris win puts the Serb only 640 points behind the Spaniard so the prestigious year-end world No.1 spot will be decided at the up-coming ATP Finals in London. A perfect scenario for the year-end championships.
Novak is trying to equal Pete Sampras’ record of six year-end No.1’s while Rafa is chasing a fifth in an effort to tie Djokovic, Roger Federer and Jimmy Connors.
The 32-year-old opened up a 3-0 lead before the 21-year-old Canadian earned his first game but there was not much he could do to stem the Serb’s dominance, despite the fact that there was really only one break a set in the final. The Djokovic serve was a telling factor.
“I think I had the best serving match of the tournament, and that’s why the match was pretty short, you know, just over an hour for two sets,” Novak said. “For 6-3, 6-4, that’s a result that doesn’t separate the two players too much. I mean, it’s only one break in each set. That was enough to win the match.
“But, I started off very well, very solid. And second set I was just waiting for him to drop his percentage of first serves in, a little bit, maybe give him a different look, position myself differently. It worked. I put him under pressure for the second serve and from the back of the court I was solid and not giving him too many opportunities.
“And just one of the best matches I have played, definitely, this week. And I feel like the second part of the week was terrific. It was improving day by day for me in terms of level of tennis.
“And I couldn’t be happier with this win.”
Shapovalov said that the biggest frustration for him in the match was trying to return Djokovic’s serve and said it felt like Djokovic “hit, like, 103 first serve percentage in the first set”. The Canadian added that Djokovic was placing the serve so accurately and it was tough to read, and he was changing things up and finding his spots.
“It’s a sport, there’s going to be ups and downs,” Shapovalov said. “And it’s not going to be finals of a Masters every week. So, it’s normal to have some dips and rises. I’m still learning about my game, too, improving every day. (This year) the most important thing was, yeah, when I was struggling a little bit, I didn’t get discouraged. I just kept working hard. I knew things would come.”
The doubles title was claimed by the hometown favourites Nicolas Mahut and Pierre Hugues Herbert who defeated Karen Khachanov and Andrey Rublev 6-4, 6-1.