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Djokovic Captures Record 37th Masters 1000 title in Paris after also Clinching year-end ATP Tennis No. 1 Ranking

Novak Djokovic raises the trophy after defeating Daniil Medvedev of Russia at the Rolex Paris Masters tennis tournament in Paris, France, 07 November 2021. EPA-EFE/CHRISTOPHE PETIT TESSON

By Ricky Dimon

Novak Djokovic missed out on history when he lost to Daniil Medvedev in the U.S. Open final, but the top-ranked Serb made a lot of it this week at the Rolex Paris Masters.

Djokovic clinched a year-end No. 1 ranking for a record-setting seventh time on Saturday and then on Sunday he defeated Medvedev 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 to capture a record 37th Masters 1000 title. The 34-year-old triumphed after two hours and 15 minutes of what was a typically tenacious baseline battle between these two competitors.

“I went back and reviewed the final of the U.S. Open to see what I did wrong and what I did right,” Djokovic explained. “I tried to read the patterns of his serve and the ball toss, maybe. I tried to look for the small details, because it was a match of small margins. He started better, broke my serve in the first game and I came back. He served the first set out pretty comfortably, but I felt as if I was there.

“I thought it was only a matter of time when I was going to read his serve better, and start to make some plays. You can’t go through him. You have to find a way to play with controlled aggression, play the right shots at the right time and make him come in. It’s variety that wins matches against him. We both suffered on the court and there was a lot of grueling rallies.”

Daniil Medvedev of Russia in action during the final match against Novak Djokovic of Serbia at the Rolex Paris Masters tennis tournament in Paris, France, 07 November 2021. EPA-EFE/CHRISTOPHE PETIT TESSON

Medvedev won most of those rallies in the first set, and he also came out serving extremely well. However, the second-ranked Russian’s serve let him down in sets two and three and that also seemed to impact the rest of his game. Medvedev’s service percentage was 67 in the opener, 54 in the second, and 53 in the third.

Djokovic’s 3-6, 6-0, 7-6(5) semifinal win over Hubert Hurkacz guaranteed that Medvedev would not be able to pass him in the rankings this year.

The two finalists will now head to Turin for the Nitto ATP Finals, where they will be the top seeds in their respective groups. It begins next Sunday. Hurkacz, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Alexander Zverev, Andrey Rublev, Matteo Berrettini, and Casper Ruud round out the field of eight.

Ricky contributes to10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.