ATP Paris: Novak Djokovic battles past Marton Fucsovics for a winning return

Tennis - Novak is through to the third round at Paris Masters

by Jovica Ilic
ATP Paris: Novak Djokovic battles past Marton Fucsovics for a winning return

World no. 1 Novak Djokovic earned the 45th ATP win of the season at Paris Masters, beating Marton Fucsovics 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 in two hours. The five-time Paris Masters winner competed in singles for the first time in 50 days, losing the US Open final to Daniil Medvedev in straight sets and making a winning start in the French capital, eager to secure the seventh year-end no.

1 honor. Novak grabbed 20 points more than Marton, getting broken twice from as many chances offered to the Hungarian and delivering four breaks from 11 opportunities to cross the finish line first. Djokovic hit 24 winners and 23 unforced errors, solid numbers considering how many days he spent away from the court, and built the win in the shortest range up to four strokes.

The Serb brought the opening game home when his rival sprayed a forehand mistake and broke at 15 in game two following Marton's wild forehand for an instant advantage.

Novak Djokovic defeated Martin Fucsovics in three sets in Paris.

Fucsovics brought his name to the scoreboard with a forehand winner in game four before Djokovic secured the fifth game with an unreturned serve for a 4-1 advantage.

Marton saved a break point and held in game six before Novak produced a clean service game to remain in front. Djokovic returned at 5-2 and secured another break and the set, hoping for more in the next one. At the beginning of the second set, the Serb held at 15 with a volley winner and wasted a break chance in game two before the Hungarian brought it home with a backhand crosscourt winner.

Suddenly, Novak played a loose forehand in game three to experience a break and push his rival in front for the first time, with Marton holding at love to open a 3-1 gap. Fucsovics secured the sixth game with a forehand winner at the net and clinched the eighth with a backhand crosscourt winner for a 5-3 lead.

Serving for the set in game ten, the Hungarian hit a service winner to win it 6-4 and gather a boost ahead of the decider. Novak claimed four straight points from 30-0 down in the third set's third game and finished it with a winner to avoid a possible scare.

He broke Marton at love in the next one before the Hungarian broke back to remain in contention. Djokovic seized the fourth break chance in the sixth game to open a 4-2 gap and held with a service winner to move closer to the finish line.

Fucsovics fended off a match point on serve in game eight before Djokovic sealed the deal with a forehand drive-volley winner on his serve for a place in the third round.

Novak Djokovic Marton Fucsovics Paris Masters