Djokovic Beats Hurkacz Moving into Paris Final, Surpasses Pete Sampras for Most Year-End No. 1 Finishes

Djokovic Beats Hurkacz Moving into Paris Final, Surpasses Pete Sampras for Most Year-End No. 1 Finishes Photo: TT
Novak Djokovic at Rolex Paris Masters. 06/11/2021.

Top seed Novak Djokovic reaches his seventh final in Paris, achieving a year-end No. 1 for a record-breaking seventh time, passing American Pete Sampras.

Speaking about the impressive milestone he has just achieved, Djokovic commented: “Just proud and extremely happy. Obviously, that was one of the biggest goals, and it’s always one of the biggest goals, to try to be No. 1 and end the season as No. 1. To do it, for the record seventh time, and surpass my childhood idol and role model, Pete, is incredible. Very grateful, very blessed to be in this position.”

On a cold but sunny Parisian Saturday afternoon Saturday, Novak Djokovic met Hubert Hurkacz for the third time on tour, claiming victory over Poland’s number one racquet 3-6, 6-0, 7-6(5) after two hours and 17 minutes.

The first semifinal of the day, at the Rolex Paris Masters, saw Hurkacz, who is enjoying his breakthrough season, leading Djokovic 6-3 in the opener after 33 minutes.

Serving well, displaying flawless tennis, the Pole secured the lone break of the opener to take the advantage at 5-3, following to close out the first set with his serve.

The seventh seed fired 11 winners, of which five were aces, recorded seven unforced errors - as well as his adversary - winning 83 percent of his first-service points.

Djokovic came out to play the second set, raising his level, proving too solid for the four-time ATP titlist, as he advanced to tie the match with a 6-0 win in 28 minutes, forcing a decider.

The 34-year-old produced an early break to lead 2-0, a gap that he would extend following a double break over the Miami Open champion.

However, the supremacy excelled in the previous set by the 20-time Grand Slam champion would be tested by the first-time Nitto ATP Finals qualifier, who recovered, coming back from 1-4 down.

For his part, the Serbian player broke the world No. 10 serve to move ahead 4-1, only for the 24-year-old to break back (3-4), rallying to level up the tie 4-4 against Djokovic.

Furthermore, both players continued to ignite the crowd present at the Accor Arena, showcasing high-level tennis.

Hurkacz went on, saving a match point en route to the tiebreak, which he played very well with a solid serve.

Nevertheless, the Belgrade native would impose his game, claiming victory 7-6(5), booking his spot in Sunday’s championship match, Djokovic 54th ATP Masters 1000 career final.

All in all, he hit 22 winners, 26 unforced errors, winning 77 percent of his first-service points and 62 percent with his second.

Next, he awaits to meet the winner of the other semifinal that features U.S. Open champion Daniil Medvedev against World No. 4 Alexander Zverev, who put out Casper Ruud on Friday.

Cecilia demartini
Sports Pundit staff writer @ceci_2812
Cecilia is a writer and a journalist passionate about sports, particularly motorsport, tennis, and soccer

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