World No. 1 Novak Djokovic claimed his 37th Masters 1000 title in Paris last Sunday, returning to the competition in a winning fashion and setting a couple of excellent records. Novak has added 55 hard-court Masters 1000 quarter-finals in 27 titles, playing more efficiently than Roger Federer, who surrendered 22 crowns in 59 quarter-final appearances.
Thus, Novak has moved just four hard-court Masters 1000 quarter-finals behind Roger and will have a chance to meet or exceed that number in 2022. Novak had two big goals this season, achieving both in Majors and on the qualifying list, and he still left in Paris despite not playing since the US Open.
The 55 Novak Masters 1000 quarterfinals on the most common surface came after a victory and two hours on the court. Djokovic beat Marton Fucsovics 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 in the second round, starting again after the second set and kicking off the chase for the title.
Novak was released last Thursday as Gael Monfils walkovered him in the third round due to injury, sending the Serb into the last eight, where he faced Taylor Fritz. Djokovic defeated the American 6-4, 6-3 in 73 minutes, beating the youngster for the fifth time in as many games to reach his seventh semi-final in Paris.
A fit American broke the Serb three times, but it wasn't enough for at least one set as Novak secured five breaks and held the shortest range advantage of up to four shots. Djokovic added the starting seven points to hold zero and three break opportunities in game two, taking advantage of the second to build the lead before losing serve in the next.
In the sixth game, Taylor saved a break point to keep in touch with the best player in the world before breaking two games later to lead Novak 5-3 forward.
John Isner pays tribute to Djokovic
John Isner recently analyzed the serves of several top players, including Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev.
Isner believes Djokovic is serving better than "he ever has" before, and credited Goran Ivanisevic's input for the Serb's improvement. “Of course, when you hold serve like that and everything else in your game is the best in the world, you're going to win a lot of matches," Isner added.
"His serve has certainly improved. He's probably serving better now than he ever has. He has a lot more confidence to go for big second serves and he's winning a lot more free points on his serve. Not that he really needs to," the American continued.
"But he does play a lot of gruelling rallies, so occasionally gets a free point here or there. It definitely helps him out a little bit”.