Paris, Nov 5 (EFE). – Serbian world number one Novak Djokovic defeated Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov 6-4, 6-3 in one hour and 38 minutes to win his seventh title in Paris and the 40th Masters 1,000 of his career, becoming the first player to reach this milestone.
The world number one consolidated his lead in the rankings after losing in the final in 2022.
“It was a complicated week and I’m happy that everything ended well,” said the Serb at the end of Sunday’s match.
Djokovic was far superior to the 32-year-old Bulgarian, who returned to a Masters 1,000 final for the first time in six years.
Along the way, Dimitrov defeated two top-10 players, Russian Daniil Medvedev, ranked third, and Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas, ranked sixth.
In the final, however, he made a series of mistakes, was very imprecise with his forehand shots and hardly challenged the Serb, who dominated more easily than in his previous three matches, in which he dropped a set in each.
At no point on Sunday did the Serb look in danger of losing his winning streak.
The Paris tournament has become a Masters 1,000 favorite for Djokovic as it is the tournament where he has the most victories.
The 36-year-old Serb, who returned to action after a two-month break, showed that his form is intact a week before the Masters in Turin, which brings together the eight best players of the year.
The Italian tournament closes the season and Djokovic is once again the favorite to win, which would also be his seventh time in Italy and second consecutive Masters this year.
With Rafael Nadal healing his wounds, only fellow Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz has been able to beat Djokovic in the last 32 matches, during the thrilling Wimbledon final – the only final the world number one has lost in 2023, preventing him from winning all the Grand Slams.
In Paris, Djokovic added his sixth title of the year, tying him with Alcaraz as the most successful tennis player of 2023, both holding just one title more than Russia’s Daniil Medvedev.
This is Djokovic’s second Masters 1,000 of the year, after the one in Cincinnati, which levels him to the Muscovite.
It is also the 97th in his record, achieved in his most selective season, having decided at 36 to space out his interventions to be more efficient.
A goal achieved, since the Serbian is scoring almost perfect numbers. Especially on hard court, where he has lost only one of the 33 duels against Medvedev in Dubai.
Moreover, the Belgrade player gives the impression of having fun, enjoying the superiority in the court and even allowing himself to provoke the very reactive Parisian audience, thus multiplying the suspense throughout the tournament.
The final was no exception, even though he had less to do as the Bulgarian gave him less of a run for his money, as Dimitrov lacked the magic of the previous duels, he was far from the level he had shown on his way to the final.
He dropped a lot of points, 16 in the whole match, especially with his forehand.
Nevertheless, he defended himself well with his elegant one-handed backhand, but he failed to shake the world number 1, who also defeated him in the semifinals of the same tournament in 2018.
Djokovic has only lost once to Dimitrov at the 2013 Madrid Masters 1,000.
The Bulgarian mourned the defeat, knowing that he had not reached the final at the level he had dreamed. EFE lmpg/mcd