Tennis – Djokovic played his eighth Paris Masters final a few weeks ago.
The Masters 1000 series kicked off in 1990. After over 30 seasons, only 13 players have reached more than eight finals. The list becomes even more exclusive when we check the players who have notched eight title matches at the same Masters 1000 event.
Andre Agassi, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic are the only players to accomplish that. Agassi did that in Miami, and Federer followed with Indian Wells and Cincinnati. Nadal went even further and became the only player with eight finals at three Masters 1000 events, achieving that in Monte Carlo, Rome and Madrid.
Novak Djokovic has been among the players to beat in Rome as well since 2008, collecting 12 finals and joining the legends. Djokovic has had incredible results at almost every Masters 1000 event, including the Paris Masters.
The Serb reached his eighth final in the French capital a few weeks ago. Thus, he became the third player with multiple Masters 1000 tournaments with at least eight title matches, joining Nadal and Federer on the exclusive list.
Djokovic was the favorite to claim his seventh Paris Masters crown, kicking off the action with a 7-6, 6-4 victory over Maxime Cressy. The attacking American stayed in touch with a notable performance, losing the opener in the tie break and leading 4-3 in the second set.
Djokovic barely lost a point behind the initial shot and kept the pressure on the other side. The Serb grabbed a break at 4-4 and rattled off three straight games to emerge at the top.
Novak Djokovic has played in 12 finals in Rome and eight in Paris.
Novak defeated Karen Khachanov 6-4, 6-1 in the third round in a repeat of the 2018 final.
The Serb lost serve once and delivered four breaks from eight chances to sail through. Djokovic destroyed the young Italian Lorenzo Musetti 6-0, 6-3 in 74 minutes after another rock-solid performance in the quarter-final. The Serb set the semi-final clash against Stefanos Tsitsipas and celebrated his 50th Masters 1000 indoor win.
Djokovic had to work harder against a fellow top-10 rival, prevailing 6-2, 3-6, 7-6 for a place in the title clash, his 56th at the Masters 1000 tournaments. Novak made a perfect start and outplayed the rival from the baseline in the opener.
Stefanos raised his level in the second set and stayed competitive in the decider until the tie break. They were locked at 4-4 before Djokovic shifted into a higher gear to emerge at the top. Novak battled against the young Dane Holger Rune in the title clash, seeking his 39th Masters 1000 crown.
It was a massive battle, and the young gun stayed in touch with the more experienced rival. Rune prevailed 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 after a thriller to become the fourth-youngest Masters 1000 champion and leave Djokovic with the runner-up prize.