ATP roundup: Novak Djokovic secures 40th career Masters 1000 title in Paris
Posted on: 05 Nov, 2023 at 06:58 PM
Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Novak Djokovic faced a series of challenges throughout the week at the Rolex Paris Masters, but he had an easier time on Sunday, dispatching Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria 6-4, 6-3 to win his seventh title in the event.
He also became the first player to win 40 Masters 1000 tournament championships.
Just one break point in each set gave Djokovic the cushion he needed to defeat Dimitrov in 98 minutes. Djokovic never faced a break point on the day.
"[It's] incredible, to be able to win it after quite challenging circumstances for me this week," Djokovic said. "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."
The 36-year-old Serbian has spent his career doing that but still seemed shocked by the outcome of the week.
"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. 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."
The top-seeded Djokovic posted three-set wins over Tallon Griekspoor of the Netherlands in the Round of 15, over fifth-seeded Andrey Rublev of Russia in the quarterfinals and over sixth-seeded Holger Rune of Denmark in the semis.
Djokovic, the World No. 1, has won 18 straight matches since losing to Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz in the final at Wimbledon. On Sunday, he hit 15 winners to just four unforced errors, compared to 15 and 16, respectively, for Dimitrov.
The Bulgarian was seeking his second Masters 1000 title and his first tour victory since 2017.
After Djokovic consoled the Bulgarian at his chair, Dimitrov said on the court "how grateful I am for this amazing week. ... Getting to the final of this tournament means so much more than you guys can imagine."
Djokovic moved to 12-1 all-time against Dimitrov, who beat three top-11 players -- Daniil Medvedev, Hubert Hurkacz and Stefanos Tsitsipas -- to reach the final.
Pierre-Hugues Herbert won his first tour singles match since February 2022 when he defeated fellow Frenchman Arthur Cazaux 7-6 (7), 6-4 in the first round in Metz, France.
Herbert is competing in Metz for the first time since 2019. He has battled a leg injury for more than a year.
In the next round, he will play the second seed, Alex de Minaur of Australia.
Also advancing was another Frenchman, Gregoire Barrere, who upset seventh-seeded Yannick Hanfmann of Germany 7-6 (5), 6-4.
--Field Level Media