World No 1 Novak Djokovic overcomes stubborn Daniil Medvedev in three-set thriller to claim the Paris Masters title in style and avenge his US Open defeat against the Russian
- Novak Djokovic defeated Daniil Medvedev 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 at the Paris Masters
- It was the first encounter between the pair since their US Open final meeting
- There, it was World No 2 Medvedev who defeated Djokovic in straight-sets
- By reaching the final, Djokovic had guaranteed he will finish 2022 as World No 1
World No 1 Novak Djokovic came back from the brink to defeat stubborn Russian Daniil Medvedev and win the Paris Masters.
Djokovic beat the 25-year-old, who sits behind him in the world rankings in second place, with an almost gladiatorial performance as he took the final 4-6, 6-3, 6-3.
Medvedev claimed the prestigious title in Paris last year, having defeated Alexander Zverev in three sets last year to win his third Masters event, but finished runner-up in the French capital this time.
Novak Djokovic (pictured) has won the Paris Masters, beating Daniil Medvedev 4-6, 6-3, 6-3
The Serb fell to the floor, totally overcome with emotion, after winning championship point
The world No 1 (left) and No 2 (right) went toe-to-toe in a superb final at the Paris Masters event
The pair, undoubtedly the two best in the men’s game on current form, had met in two prior finals this year: the Australian Open, where Djokovic won in straight sets, and the US Open, where Medvedev did the same.
This time, a final-set decider was required as the Serb helped set aside if not totally banish some of the bad memories from Flushing Meadows.
Djokovic will finish as the world’s highest ranked player for the seventh time, which he secured by beating Hubert Hurkacz in the semi-finals.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion, who has now been No 1 for 345 weeks and counting, broke the record he jointly held with Pete Sampras with the feat and has now topped the standings in seven of the past 11 seasons.
And the all-time great overcame his Russian counterpart in a thrilling encounter in Paris.
Medvedev sealed the first set in impressive style, breaking Djokovic twice as he took it 6-4
Djokovic showed moments of his undoubted class, which ultimately helped him finish on top
Medvedev’s thunderous forehand was crucial as the Russian World No 2 took the first set
Djokovic was the first to serve in Sunday’s final but got off to the worst possible start, with Medvedev utilising his thunderous forehand as he finally sealed an early advantage in his third break point.
The Serb was not down for long, however, as he levelled proceedings in the fourth game, setting up three break points with a delightful drop shot, before Medvedev threw in a double fault under immense pressure.
The seventh game of the set, one which so often proves decisive, did so once more as Medvedev broke the world No 1 again, before holding out to take the set in impressive style.
The second set started in as competitive fashion as the first, with Djokovic serving first once more as he looked for a route back into the contest.
Djokovic made what looked to have been a decisive breakthrough in the fourth game however, breaking Medvedev for the second time to take an early 3-1 lead, showing the astonishing defensive resolve fans have become so accustomed to.
Djokovic, 34, battled back in the second, sealing the only break before eventually taking it 6-3
Djokovic utilised the serve and volley throughout, but it was an ace that finally finished the set
Medvedev simply couldn’t penetrate the wall that was Djokovic, who moved within one game of the second set at 5-3, with the Paris fans bracing themselves for an enticing final set.
They would be granted their wish, but it took some time. Djokovic saved a number of break points during a frantic game, which the defiant Serb finally ended with a much-needed ace.
In the third and final set, Medvedev finally served first – and held. The first three games went to serve, with the Russian 2-1 up early on.
He did have a rare Djokovic error to thank, however, after the Serb squandered a teasing opportunity at 1-1, 30-30.
With the pressure on late in the set, Djokovic did what he does best and lifted a title once again.
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