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Djokovic beats Medvedev for record 37th Masters title

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The day after making sure to finish No.1 for a record seventh year, Novak Djokovic beat No.2 Daniil Medvedev 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 in the Paris Masters final on Sunday for a 37th title record in Masters.

Djokovic edged out another 20-time Grand Slam winner Rafael Nadal for the Masters trophies, and nine ahead of Roger Federer, the other tennis greats with 20 majors.

It also gave Djokovic a record-breaking sixth Paris Masters title and placed him 6-4 on aggregate against No.2-ranked Medvedev, who is striving to dethrone him in world tennis.

The veteran Serbian lost to Medvedev in straight sets in the US Open final two months ago and hadn’t played a tournament since.

Medvedev looked strong at first, but seed Djokovic, who beat him in straight sets in this year’s Australian Open final, resisted punitive trades against an opponent nine years older. young.

Djokovic’s double break against a tired Medvedev, the defending champion, gave him a 5-2 lead and the chance to serve for an 86th career title.

Second-seeded Medvedev threw a ball into the crowd in frustration after a fan shouted just as he served 30-40 in that game, and he pointed the finger at the frustrated crowd during the change.

Some rowdy fans cheered for serve errors and double faults, or shouted right before serves throughout the week.

Chair umpire Aurélie Tourte finally had enough, after his previous requests for calm and the previous days of other referees.

“When you see players on the baseline who are about to serve,” she said, “stop fussing over nothing.”

A poor serve play from Djokovic helped Medvedev come back to 5-3.

But on his first match point, Djokovic won a long, thrilling rally worthy of a grand final with a forehand winning deep to the left of the pitch. He hugged his rival warmly at the net.

“I suffered a lot, well done to you. I really wanted to win but you are so strong, ”said Medvedev on court in almost fluent French. “I hope we play a lot of matches like this and win a few each.”

Djokovic seemed impressed with Medvedev’s language skills.

“What level of magical French you have. My level is not like Daniil’s, but I’m trying ”, replied Djokovic in French.

“I have also suffered a lot today and also in New York, but it is a great rivalry that is developing.”

Djokovic celebrated with his wife, young son and daughter.

“Today was very special for me because my family is here,” said Djokovic.

“This is the first time that my two children have been together to watch one of my games.

The competition was intense from the start.

Serbian Novak Djokovic, right, and Russian Daniil Medvedev hold their trophies after their final match of the Paris Masters tennis tournament at the Accor Arena in Paris on Sunday, November 7, 2021. Djokovic won 4-6, 6-3 , 6- 3. (AP Photo / Thibault Camus)

Serving at 30-40 in Game 6, Medvedev saved a break point with a forehand before holding and then putting pressure on Djokovic at 0-40.

The 34-year-old Serb saved two break points but could only applaud as Medvedev’s sliced ​​backhand drop gave him the break.

The 25-year-old Russian served the set when Djokovic returned for a long time.

Djokovic was in his record-breaking seventh final here and found his range to break and then hold 4-1 in the second set.

Serving at 5-3, Djokovic saved three break points in a thrilling 12-minute game with close rallies.

Djokovic hit an ace on his third set point to tie a tense game that put the crowd on their feet after unlikely recoveries or winners of both.

There was a downside, however.

Earlier, Tourte had already stepped in to demand “a little respect for the players” after a fan shouted just as Djokovic was about to serve at 15-30 in Game 3.

She also told a fan to stop filming with a phone during the game and twice requested that a door be closed at the top of the bleachers as people walk in and out.

“Why don’t you take a walk outside?” ” she asked.

Tournament director Guy Forget said earlier that fans sometimes went too far in their exuberance, applauding errors and double faults from opponents who faced Frenchman Hugo Gaston.

In his semi-final match on Saturday, Djokovic was annoyed when his double fault sparked loud cheers.

“There was a real desire to show his joy, his emotion to be here,” said Forget. “Sometimes, if I may say so, it was borderline vis-à-vis the opponent.”

But Djokovic’s week was special, as he edged out childhood idol Pete Sampras for the No.1 end-of-year finishes.

In a stellar year in which he won three majors, Djokovic eclipsed Federer’s all-time mark of 310 weeks at No.1 on March 8 and will end 2021 after occupying No. 1 for 348. weeks.

He now turns his attention to a record-breaking sixth ATP Finals title tied with Federer.

The end of season event begins on November 14 in Turin.

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