Novak Djokovic was thrilled with his victory over Stefanos Tsitsipas at the Paris Masters as he also wanted to “make a statement” and send a clear message to the younger generation. Djokovic, 35, edged out 24-year-old Tsitsipas 6-2 3-6 7-6 (4) in a thriller Paris semifinal.
Djokovic, who is well in his thirties, admits it is important for him to show the younger generation that he is “still here” and hungry for more success. “I was just proud to be part of such a fantastic atmosphere as well.
To play one of the best players in the world at this stage, it means a lot to me because, again, at this stage of my career, to keep pushing myself, keep motivating myself, keep believing that I can win these matches, it means a lot mentally, emotionally for me, more than anything, really, because I need to also make a statement that I’m still there with the young guys, that I’m able to compete with them and win such tight matches,” Djokovic said, per Sportskeeda.
Djokovic on fending off Tsitsipas
After easily losing the first set, Tsitsipas bounced back in the second set to force a decider. In the third set tie-break, Tsitsipas claimed a mini-break in the seventh point to open a 4-3 lead.
Djokovic, a 21-time Grand Slam champion, responded by winning the next four points to win the tie-break and seal a tight three-set win. After the match, Djokovic admitted that had Tsitsipas won, his victory would have been deserved.
“Very exciting points, I think, very exciting tennis I think for the crowd, for us. We pushed each other to the limit. I think it was just necessary to decide this match in the last moment, you know, in the last shot, last point, because it was really anybody’s game. If he would win, he would deserve to win this match,” Djokovic reflected.