• REUTERS

  • SHARE

Novak Djokovic put the disappointment of missing out on a rare calendar Grand Slam behind him by winning a record sixth Paris Masters title on Sunday.

The Serbian’s bid to become the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to win all four majors in the same year was ended by Daniil Medvedev in the U.S. Open final in September. He avenged that defeat on Sunday, beating the Russian 4-6, 6-3, 6-3.

Djokovic’s record 37th Masters title capped a successful week during which the 34-year-old also ensured he will finish the year as the world’s top-ranked player for a record seventh time.

“I already closed that chapter, to be honest,” Djokovic said during a news conference. “I’m not regretting it, really. I’m not spending days suffering because I didn’t take the calendar slam this year.”

“I’m very relieved that the calendar, that the Grand Slam season was done, because I felt a tremendous pressure unlike anything I felt in my life.

“So it was an interesting experience, and I’m very satisfied with the way I played in Grand Slams, three wins and a final. I mean, there is much more positive things to be grateful for and to look at than negative.”

On Sunday, Djokovic remained unflappable despite losing the opening set.

“I have always been honest enough to say that the history of our sport is too big a motivation,” he said.

“It is an objective, yes, to prove that I can break all the records with all the results that I can obtain on the tour professionally.

“So, yes, I love breaking records. I’m very motivated to carry on. My priority is the Grand Slams and Masters 1000, where you can gain the largest number of points. This is an added benefit of our sport.”

Djokovic will now set his sights on the ATP Finals, which begin Nov. 14 in Turin, where he will be looking to match Roger Federer’s record haul of six titles.

Djokovic needed time to break Medvedev’s sturdy defense on Sunday, but was unstoppable once he found his opening.

He was looking to avoid ending a season without a Masters title for the first time since 2017 and kept his focus throughout to accomplish his mission.

World No. 2 Medvedev was overwhelmed in the third set and bowed out on the first match point, when Djokovic unleashed a superb forehand winner down the line.

“I consider myself a student of the sport, and I really respect and admire all of the past champions that paved the way for me and, all the generations that are playing tennis right now,” Djokovic said.

“We are enjoying the benefits of this game in every sense because of the past champions that made the tour the way it is today.

Medvedev, the defending champion, earned a break in the opening game as Djokovic made a flurry of unforced errors.

The world No. 1 rallied to even it at 2-2, but Medvedev stole his serve again to move ahead 4-3 with a splendid sliced backhand at the net.

The Russian then held serve twice to pocket the first set when Djokovic hit his return long.

The Serbian, however, turned the tables in the second set, going up 3-1 as Medvedev buried a backhand into the net.

Djokovic served and volleyed to save a break point at 5-3 and saw off a second with a big serve. Medvedev set up a third with a spectacular block at the net, but the top seed’s first serve came to the rescue again.

Djokovic eventually took the match into a decider with an ace on his third set point.

He broke to take a 3-2 lead courtesy of three unforced errors by Medvedev and stole his opponent’s serve again to move ahead 5-2.

Djokovic gave Medvedev too much space while serving for the match, and the Russian pulled a break back, but his tank was empty as he was broken in the next game.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

PHOTO GALLERY (CLICK TO ENLARGE)