Novak Djokovic overcomes a shaky start at Bercy against Hubert Hurkacz, who booked the final ticket to the season-ending ATP Finals on Friday, before passing the second and managing his nerves in the third; surpasses Pete Sampras in most year-ends as No. 1 with seven
Last Updated: 11/06/21 4:30 pm
Novak Djokovic sealed the year-end number one spot for a record seventh year after reaching the final of the Paris Masters with an excellent comeback over Hubert Hurkacz.
The world number one, who won three of the four Grand Slams in 2021, had to work hard against Hurkacz of Poland to win 3-6 6-0 7-6 (7-5) on Saturday.
It means that Djokovic will play in the final of a Masters 1000 for the 54th time in which he is chasing a record 37th title.
He also surpassed Pete Sampras by becoming the first man to finish a year as world number one seven times.
“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 number one and finish the season as number one,” Djokovic said.
“Doing it for a record seventh time and surpassing my childhood idol and role model Pete is amazing. So grateful, so blessed to be in this position.”
Djokovic, who needs to win the Paris final to avoid failing to claim a Masters title in a season for the first time since 2017, lost serve in the eighth game and Hurkacz followed up with serve to seal the first set.
That propelled Djokovic into action and the first seed allowed his opponent just 11 points for a second bagel set.
Hurkacz regained his composure in the deciding match, but Djokovic broke it 3-1 with a forehand at the end of a long rally.
He followed up with a service game to love, but Hurkacz fought back to counter 3-4 while hitting a forehand winner down the line.
It is the seventeenth time in the last 18 seasons (except Andy Murray in 2016) that Djokovic, Rafael Nadal (five times, 2008, 10, 13, 17, 19) or Roger Federer (also five times: 2004-07, 09)
This was so important to Novak. New Year’s Eve No1 once again and fighting and winning in a pressure match … His celebration at the end says it all.
– Patrick Mouratoglou (@pmouratoglou) November 6, 2021
Djokovic blew a match point at 5-4 and the clash turned into a decisive set tiebreaker, which Hurkacz dominated until he buried a routine forehand at the net to put Djokovic 6-5 up with another match point. .
The pole cut a wide backhand, allowing Djokovic to move to a victory of a 37th Masters record title.
Djokovic will face the winner of the match between Daniil Medvedev or Alexander Zverev in Sunday’s showdown.