Top-ranked Novak Djokovic was made to fight for more than three hours by Andrey Rublev in their semifinal match on Saturday before earning the right to play for a record-extending seventh title at the Paris Masters. Top-seeded Novak Djokovic showed off his unshakable determination by coming back to beat Andrey Rublev 5-7, 7-6 (7/3), 7-5. Djokovic will take on Grigor Dimitrov in the final, where he hopes to add to his record by winning a seventh Paris Masters championship. This exciting victory has secured him a position in the final.
“Rublev was suffocating me like a snake suffocates a frog for most of the match,” Djokovic said. “He was playing an extremely high level that he possesses, but today he was off the charts, honestly. I don’t think I’ve ever faced Rublev this good.” Also read: Reaching New Heights: Veronika Kudermetova Claims Second Title at Toray Pan Pacific Open
Although Djokovic won a three-set match against the reigning champion Holger Rune in the quarterfinals and another three-set match in the third round, his path to the final has not been an easy one.
A stomach issue, according to Djokovic, has been hindering him and has made “him feel terrible the past three days.” He was proud of “not giving up, fighting and believing that I can come back, which happened again and hopefully it can happen tomorrow.” Djokovic started out against Rublev by making a few odd blunders from the baseline, but he became better as the game went on. Also read: Who is Marc-Andrea Hüsler Girlfriend? Know all about his Relationship Status
This remarkable victory at the Paris Masters has further extended Djokovic’s impressive winning streak to 17 consecutive matches.
Remarkably, he has only suffered a single defeat in 31 outings. And he has, since the commencement of the French Open, with that sole loss coming in a hard-fought five-set battle against Carlos Alcaraz in the Wimbledon final.
With his brilliant shot selection in the tiebreaker, Djokovic made the difference. Following leading a lengthy rally, he increased his lead to 4-2 then, following a brilliant forehand return, to 6-3. With an ace, he closed the set.
Then, Djokovic made a call to the physiotherapist to get his back treated.
Dimitrov made several mistakes in the tiebreaker as Tsitsipas forced a decider, gesturing toward the crowd to ask for support. “I am just happy I was able to get through that match in such a manner,” Dimitrov said. Tsitsipas failed to convert four break point chances in the third game.
“After that second set, especially the tiebreak, it was getting very tricky again. 15-40 down in the third again and I was just thinking it can’t keep going like this, so I have to change something,” Dimitrov said. Also read: Jannik Sinner Withdraws From The Paris Masters, Following A Late-Night Win
“The first five points in the tiebreak were excellent,” Dimitrov said. “I took those chances and that was all I could do against such a high-quality player. If you let him dictate, you are done. But I kept on believing and kept staying focused and made sure every time I had the ball on the racquet, I did something with it.”