Novak Djokovic made a name for himself in 2007, reaching his first Major final and playing in three Masters 1000 title matches. All these came on a hard court, and it was clear that tennis got a new star on the most common surface.
Fifteen years later, Novak is among the most decorated players on hard, lifting numerous notable titles and holding many unique records. The Serb leads the charts with 37 hard-court Masters 1000 finals, standing three ahead of Roger Federer and 17 in front of Rafael Nadal!
Novak’s 56th Masters 1000 final and the 37th on hard came at the Paris Masters a few weeks ago. It was Djokovic’s eighth final in Paris, seeking the seventh title and falling to Holger Rune after taking the opening set.
Novak kicked off the action against Maxime Cressy and earned a 7-6, 6-4 win in an hour and 43 minutes. Djokovic lost six points behind the initial shot and kept the pressure on the other side. The American hit 15 aces and rushed to the net almost 50 times, eager to keep the points on his racquet.
Cressy saved four out of five break points and led 4-3 in the second set before Djokovic delivered his lone break and rattled off three straight games to emerge at the top.
Novak Djokovic has played in 37 hard-court Masters 1000 finals.
The Serb beat Karen Khachanov 6-4, 6-1 in the third round to advance into the quarter-final.
Djokovic defeated Khachanov for the eighth time in nine matches, experiencing the only defeat in the Paris Masters final four years ago. Novak lost serve once and delivered four breaks from eight opportunities to control the scoreboard and sail into the last eight without losing energy.
A six-time champion stormed over the young Italian Lorenzo Musetti 6-0, 6-3 in 74 minutes for a place in the semi-final, becoming the first player with 50 Masters 1000 indoor wins! Novak claimed the opener in no time and grabbed an early break in the second for a convincing victory.
Seeking a place in his eighth Paris Masters final, Djokovic prevailed over Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-2, 3-6, 7-6 after a massive battle in the decider. Novak stood three points away from defeat in the deciding tie break before emerging at the top.
Djokovic passed that obstacle but fell on the last one, losing the title clash to the 19-year-old Holger Rune 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 in a thriller. The Serb was a break in front in the final set before losing ground, experiencing two breaks and handing the trophy to a teenager.