Novak Djokovic follows Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal



by   |  VIEW 5425

Novak Djokovic follows Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal

The Masters 1000 series kicked off in 1990. It has always favored younger players over the veterans, with only four competitors achieving notable things after the 34th birthday. Andre Agassi stood as the oldest Masters 1000 finalist and champion before Roger Federer smashed his record, reaching eight finals after turning 35 and winning four titles.

Rafael Nadal claimed the last year's Rome title at 34 years and 11 months to join two legends on the list, with Novak Djokovic to follow. The Serb became the fourth player with a Masters 1000 final after turning 35 a few weeks ago in Paris, barely missing a chance to become the champion.

Djokovic was the favorite to claim his seventh Paris Masters crown, kicking off the action with a 7-6, 6-4 victory over Maxime Cressy. The attacking American lost the opener in the tie break and led 4-3 in the second set. Djokovic barely lost a point behind the initial shot and kept the pressure on the other side.

The Serb grabbed a break at 4-4 in set number two and rattled off three straight games to emerge at the top.

Novak Djokovic is the fourth player with a Masters 1000 final at 35.

Novak defeated Karen Khachanov 6-4, 6-1 in the third round in a repeat of the 2018 final.

The Serb lost serve once and clinched four breaks from eight chances to move through. Djokovic destroyed the young Italian Lorenzo Musetti 6-0, 6-3 in 74 minutes after another rock-solid performance in the quarter-final. The Serb became the first player with 50 indoor Masters 1000 victories and set the semi-final clash against Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Djokovic prevailed 6-2, 3-6, 7-6 for a place in the title clash, his 56th at the Masters 1000 tournaments. Novak made a perfect start and outplayed the rival in the opener with a reliable performance. Stefanos raised his level in the second set and stayed competitive in the decider until the tie break.

They were locked at 4-4 before Djokovic shifted into a higher gear to emerge at the top. Novak battled against the young Dane Holger Rune in the title clash, seeking his 39th Masters 1000 crown and the seventh in the French capital.

It was a massive battle, and the young gun stayed in touch with the more experienced rival. Rune prevailed 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 after a thriller to become the fourth-youngest Masters 1000 champion and leave Djokovic with the runner-up prize.