Novak Djokovic secured his place in the Paris Masters final after a hard-fought victory against Andrey Rublev. Djokovic, the top-ranked player, battled for over three hours before defeating Rublev 5-7, 7-6 (3), 7-5. Despite a slow start and facing intense pressure from his Russian opponent, Djokovic maintained his perfect record in the semifinals at the Paris Masters. The Serbian player will now face Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov in the final, aiming for a record-extending seventh title at this prestigious indoor tournament.
Reflecting on the challenging match, Djokovic acknowledged Rublev’s exceptional performance, comparing it to a snake suffocating a frog. He praised Rublev’s high-level play, stating, “He was playing an extremely high level that he possesses, but today he was off the charts, honestly. I don’t think I’ve ever faced Rublev this good.”
Dimitrov also faced a tough challenge in the semifinals against Stefanos Tsitsipas, prevailing with a 6-3, 6-7 (1), 7-6 (3) victory. The road to the final hasn’t been easy for Djokovic, who overcame defending champion Holger Rune in the quarterfinals and battled through a three-set contest in the third round. Djokovic, dealing with a stomach virus, emphasized his determination not to give up, expressing hope for another comeback in the final.
In the semifinal against Rublev, Djokovic encountered some unusual mistakes early in the match but improved as the game progressed. Rublev applied pressure, earning a set point in the opener, but Djokovic showcased resilience. The Serbian player dominated the tiebreaker in the second set with inspired shot-making, ultimately securing the set with an ace.
Despite calling the physio for treatment on his back, Djokovic returned to the court serving exceptionally well in the deciding set. Rublev, putting up a strong fight, eventually succumbed in the 12th game, losing his serve and the match. Frustrated, Rublev slammed his racquet on the floor in anger.
In the other semifinal, Dimitrov displayed impressive form, serving well, hitting 38 winners, and excelling at the net to tame Tsitsipas. Dimitrov capitalized on Tsitsipas’s slow start to claim the first set. Although Tsitsipas initiated a comeback in the second set, Dimitrov maintained focus and secured the victory in a tiebreaker.
Dimitrov, returning to a Masters 1000 tournament final after six years, is set to face Djokovic in the Paris Masters final. Djokovic aims for a historic seventh title, while Dimitrov seeks his first tour-level tournament win since 2017.
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