Djokovic Reaches 50th ATP Masters 1000 Final

World No. 1 to meet Shapovalov in final

Novak Djokovic has enjoyed great success at ATP Masters 1000 events throughout his career, lifting 33 trophies across all nine events.

The World No. 1 enjoyed another milestone on Saturday, reaching his 50th Masters 1000 championship match with a 7-6(5), 6-4 win against Grigor Dimitrov at the Rolex Paris Masters.

The World No. 1 extended his unbeaten record in Bercy semi-finals to six matches, winning 85 per cent of first-serve points (34/40) to reach his sixth final at the event. Djokovic owns a 10-1 record at this tournament after reaching the semi-finals.

”It's a motivation [to win my fifth Paris title] every day. I feel good in such conditions, especially in France… You have the culture of tennis,” said Djokovic. “You have a lot of support from the crowd. You could see the French players had a lot of support. I'm motivated. I want to do well tomorrow. I hope to find my best tennis.”

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With his ninth victory in 10 FedEx ATP Head2Head meetings against Dimitrov, Djokovic is through to his sixth final of the year (4-1). The four-time Paris champion is tied with Dominic Thiem (5-1) and Roger Federer (4-2) in second place on the 2019 finals leaderboard. Daniil Medvedev has reached nine championship matches (4-5) this year.

Djokovic is aiming to finish as year-end No. 1 in the ATP Rankings for a record-tying sixth time. The 32-year-old will enter the championship match against Denis Shapovalov 1,040 points behind Rafael Nadal in the Race. Djokovic is unbeaten in three FedEx ATP Head2Head clashes against the Canadian.

“I think [Denis has] reduced his unforced errors. His game has always been there and, especially this year, he's improved even more,” said Djokovic. “He has played some impressive tennis, yesterday especially against Monfils. I'm looking forward to the final… Hopefully I will be able to get the best out of myself tomorrow.”

In a first set dominated by serve, neither player was able to earn a break point en route to the tie-break. With Dimitrov leading 5/3, Djokovic raised his level and refused to miss. The World No. 1 soaked up the aggression from Dimitrov’s racquet, extending rallies with consistent depth on his groundstrokes and great defensive skill to eventually extract errors and take the opening set.

Djokovic returned with depth and proved more consistent than his opponent on his forehand side to claim the only break of the match at 2-2 in the second set. The World No. 1 maintained his advantage to serve for the match at 5-4 and booked his spot in the final with a cross-court forehand.

“He was probably the better player in the tie-break,” said Djokovic. “[With Grigor up] 5/3 and 5/4, serving twice, I managed to get returns into play and just make him play an extra shot… We both really understood the importance of clinching the first set so we could feel a bit more relaxed in the second and start swinging through.

“In the beginning of the second set, I was focused. I did well and managed to break his serve and hold my serve really well towards the end.”

Dimitrov ends his 2019 ATP Tour season with a 22-21 tour-level record, highlighted by runs to the US Open and Paris semi-finals. At the Erste Bank Open in Vienna last week, the Bulgarian recorded his 300th tour-level victory.

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