The stars of the ATP Tour are ready to compete in the Rolex Paris Masters, the last ATP Masters 1000 event of the season to be played this week. World No. 1 Novak Djokovic and defending champion Daniil Medvedev lead the way. ATPTour.com looks at 10 things you must see in Paris-Bercy.
1) Djokovic back in action: the top seed will compete for the first time since the US Open, where he lost in the final to Medvedev. A victory in that match would have given the Serbian the Grand Slam calendar, having won the first three majors of the year.
Djokovic will be sure to know that he is a five-time Rolex Paris Masters champion, with wins in four of his last six appearances at the ATP Masters 1000 event. The 34-year-old, who will start against Fabio Fognini or Marton Fucsovics, is currently tied with Rafael Nadal for the most Masters 1000 titles, with 36.
He will also play doubles with compatriot Filip Krajinovic. 2) Novak chasing the year-end No. 1 record: Not only is Djokovic returning to action, he can also make history in his first comeback event. Novak and Pete Sampras are tied for the most times at the top of the year-end FedEx ATP Rankings with six each.
There are three scenarios in which Djokovic can achieve his seventh time as No. 1 at the end of the year in Paris. The 34-year-old right-hander will do so if he reaches the final, if he advances to the semi-finals and Medvedev doesn't win the title, or if the Russian doesn't make it to the championship game.
Djokovic on the 2022 Australian Open
Novak Djokovic admitted he was disappointed by his defeat at the US Open, especially since he was on the cusp of tennis immortality. But in the same breath he stressed that he still saw the final against Medvedev as a "win" because he was able to get the crowd on his side.
"It is true that I am sad for this loss, for this particular match, because it was one of the greatest matches of my career," Djokovic added. "But it was still a win for me, because I did win the crowds over.
So it's also very important for my personality, for my emotional state, and I hope that I can draw upon this energy here in Paris." There has been intense speculation about Novak Djokovic's participation in the 2022 Australian Open given the prevailing COVID-19 situation.
"Well, I'm going to decide on whether I go to Australia or not after I see the official statement from Tennis Australia," Novak Djokovic said. "Right now we don't have any official announcement or statement.
So until that's out, I won't be talking about this anymore, because I don't want to be part of the stories about the assumptions and what-ifs."