Paris | Djokovic wins Paris again
Novak Djokovic reigns supreme for a fifth time at the Rolex Paris Masters after dismissing the inexperienced young Canadian Denis Shapovalov in straight sets.
It was his first Masters’ final so in a way experience prevailed Novak Djokovic
The victory also boosts his hopes of ending the year as the world number one despite losing that spot on Monday to his rival Rafa Nadal who, having withdrawn from the Bercy final with an abdominal injury, is currently doubtful for the Nitto ATP Finals starting November 10.
Djokovic was dominant throughout the 65-minute final winning through to his 34th Masters 1000 title, one behind Nadal’s record, 6-3 6-4.
As many expected the final to be between the Serb and the Spaniard, there was a certain amount of disappointment at the final line-up and in many ways, they were justified as Shapovalov, at 20 and in his first Masters’ 1000 final, was overwhelmed by the experience.
Nerves were clearly affecting the youngster during the opening moments as a series of errors gifted Djokovic with an early break.
But he found his rhythm especially on his serve to keep pace with his more experienced opponent who eased through the opening set in just 28-minutes.
Shapovalov, who claimed his maiden ATP title last month in Stockholm, opened the second set with a double fault as Djokovic pressed him hoping to take an early break.
A mishit forehand by the Canadian handed Djokovic a break point but the Canadian responded with an ace on both break points and completed his hold with a third.
The form that Shapovalov showed in his brilliant quarter-final win over Gael Monfils on Friday was nowhere to be seen, though, and the 32-year-old Djokovic moved to the brink of victory by capturing the youngsters serve for a second time for 4-3.
Shapovalov, who will move into the world’s top 15 next week, gave himself a glimmer of hope by moving to 30-40 on Djokovic’s serve, but the Serbian closed the door, although he was then forced to serve for the title, which he claimed with a whipped forehand.
“I served very well, there were not many rallies in the match. A break in each set was enough; it was the best serving performance in this tournament,” said Djokovic who had not drop a set all week.
Concluding, “It was his first Masters’ final so in a way experience prevailed”
And its that sort of experience which Shapovalov is determined to gain as he said he “wants to be beating guys” like Novak Djokovic and that “it doesn’t stop here” after his loss, vowing he would come back next year much stronger.
“It’s an unbelievable week for me, but it doesn’t stop here,” he said. “It’s back to the court, back to practising.
“I want to be beating guys like Novak so I have to improve, get better, find a way to return better against his serve. And hopefully I can do even better next year.
“It’s a sport. There’s going to be ups and downs. And it’s not going to be finals of a Masters every week,” he added.
“So it’s normal to have some dips and rises. You know, I’m still learning about my game, too, improving every day.”