PARIS (AP) — The day after ensuring he finishes No. 1 for a record seventh year, Novak Djokovic beat No. 2 Daniil Medvedev 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 in the Paris Masters final on Sunday for a record 37th Masters title.
Djokovic moved one clear of fellow 20-time Grand Slam winner Rafael Nadal for Masters trophies, and nine ahead of Roger Federer, the other tennis great with 20 majors.
It also gave Djokovic a record-extending sixth Paris Masters title and put him 6-4 up overall against the No. 2-ranked Medvedev, who is pushing hard to dethrone him in world tennis.
The veteran Serb had lost to Medvedev in straight sets in the U.S. Open final two months ago and had not played a tournament since.
Medvedev looked strong early but top-seeded Djokovic, who beat him in straight sets in this year’s Australian Open final, withstood punishing rallies against an opponent nine years younger.
Djokovic’s double break against a tiring Medvedev, the defending champion, gave him a 5-2 lead and the chance to serve for an 86th career title.
Second-seeded Medvedev swiped a ball into the crowd in frustration after a fan yelled just as he was serving at 30-40 down in that game, and he pointed to the crowd in frustration at the changeover.
Some rowdy fans have cheered serving errors and double-faults, or shouted just before serves throughout the week.
A poor service game from Djokovic gifted Medvedev a break back to 5-3.
But on his first match point, Djokovic won a thrilling long rally befitting a great final with a forehand winner deep into the left of the court. He hugged his rival warmly at the net.
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