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Novak Djokovic, Daniil Medvedev reach Paris final

Sportsnaut
Sep 12, 2021; Flushing, NY, USA; (L-R) Novak Djokovic of Serbia and Daniil Medvedev of Russia celebrate with the finalist and championship trophies, respectively, after their match in the men's singles final on day fourteen of the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 12, 2021; Flushing, NY, USA; (L-R) Novak Djokovic of Serbia and Daniil Medvedev of Russia celebrate with the finalist and championship trophies, respectively, after their match in the men’s singles final on day fourteen of the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports

No. 1 seed Novak Djokovic of Serbia and No. 2 Daniil Medvedev of Russia will battle for the Paris Masters title on Sunday in a rematch of September’s U.S. Open final.

This is Djokovic’s first tournament since his 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 loss to Medvedev in that meeting, which ended his bid for a calendar grand slam.

In Saturday’s semifinals at the French capital, Djokovic rallied for a 3-6, 6-0, 7-6 (5) victory over No. 7 seed Hubert Hurkacz of Poland and Medvedev breezed to a 6-2, 6-2 defeat of No. 4 Alexander Zverev of Germany.

Djokovic, 34, is shooting for a record 37th ATP Masters 1000 title and sixth Paris Masters crown. His win Saturday clinched the year-end No. 1 ranking for a record seventh time, eclipsing the mark he shared with Pete Sampras.

“Just proud and extremely happy. Obviously that was one of the biggest goals and it’s always one of the biggest goals, to try to be No. 1 and end the season as No. 1,” Djokovic said. “To do it for the record seventh time and surpass my childhood idol and role model, Pete, is incredible. Very grateful, very blessed to be in this position.”

Djokovic also finished No. 1 in 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2018 and 2020. Sampras did so for six consecutive years from 1993-98.

After dropping the opening set to Hurkacz, Djokovic won 10 of the next 11 games to build a 4-1 lead in the third set. Hurkacz broke Djokovic’s serve in the seventh game and they went to a tiebreak, where Djokovic prevailed on a wide backhand volley by Hurkacz.

Djokovic withstood 12 aces by Hurkacz, who saved eight of 12 break points in a roller-coaster match that lasted two hours and 17 minutes.

Djokovic holds a 5-4 head-to-head edge against the 25-year-old Medvedev, the defending Paris champion who has won 28 of his last 30 matches this season.

Medvedev committed just eight unforced errors, saved all three break points he faced and converted four of his five break chances during the 81-minute semifinal win against Zverev.

This is the third time this year that Djokovic and Medvedev have met in an ATP Tour final. Prior to Medvedev’s win at Flushing Meadows for his first grand slam title, he lost to Djokovic in straight sets 7-5, 6-2, 6-2 for the Australian Open championship in February.

–Field Level Media