Novak Djokovic has secured a spot in the Paris Masters final where he will compete against Grigor Dimitrov. He defeated the fifth seed, Andrey Rublev, in a tense semi-final match with a score of 5-7, 7-6 (3), 7-5.
The current top-ranked player is pursuing their seventh victory at the ATP Masters 1000, but has not consistently appeared confident in this event. This is their first tournament since winning the US Open in September.
Rublev dominated the initial set, capitalizing on eight mistakes made by his opponent from Serbia. The Serbian player needed medical attention for his lower back after pushing the match into a three-hour and two-minute third set with an ace.
After a double-fault from Rublev, Djokovic secured the win and commented to Tennis TV, “Rublev’s pressure was like a snake suffocating a frog throughout the match.”
“He was playing on an extremely high level. I knew that he possesses a great quality but today he played off the charts, honestly. I don’t think I’ve ever faced Rublev this good. On the other hand, I was struggling again with my fitness a little bit at the beginning, but I just kind of went through it.”
Djokovic’s win signifies his 14th instance of achieving 50 victories in a year, and his winning streak has now reached 17 matches. This has allowed him to advance to the 58th Masters 1000 final in his career.
Dimitrov, who was not initially seeded, will now compete in his second ATP Masters 1000 final and first since 2017. He secured his spot after a challenging 6-3, 6-7 (1), 7-6 (3) victory in the semi-finals against the seventh seed, Stefanos Tsitsipas.
The Bulgarian successfully defended all four break points and was once in a 15-40 deficit during the third set. However, he persevered and managed to shift his mindset. He shared with the ATP website that he realized he needed to make a change in order to defeat his opponent. He pushed through and it was the only way he could have won against such a skilled player.
I did not cry, but I felt extremely moved [after the victory]. I am currently savoring the present moment. The recent journey has been quite unpredictable, but every win holds a greater significance to me.
On Sunday, Dimitrov will attempt to win his ninth ATP singles title, which would be his first since 2017.