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Herbert/Mahut Continue Paris Title Pursuit

  • Posted: Nov 06, 2021

Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut moved to within one win of capturing their second Rolex Paris Masters title as a team Saturday, edging sixth seeds John Peers and Filip Polasek 2-6, 6-3, 11-9.

The third seeds triumphed in the French capital in 2019 and showed their fighting qualities against Peers and Polasek, raising their level from 9/9 in the Match Tie-break to advance after one hour and 30 minutes.

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The Frenchmen will next face Tim Puetz and Michael Venus after the German-New Zealand team downed Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares 7-5, 6-3 after 89 minutes.

Puetz and Venus hit four aces and saved all three break points they faced to advance. They have yet to drop a set this week and are aiming to win their second tour-level title of the season as a team, after lifting the trophy in Hamburg.

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Djokovic: 'Difficult To Understand The Magnitude'

  • Posted: Nov 06, 2021

Making history never gets old for Novak Djokovic.

The Serbian star clinched a record seventh year-end No. 1 finish in the FedEx ATP Rankings on Saturday, when he defeated Hubert Hurkacz in the Rolex Paris Masters semi-finals. The 34-year-old has accomplished the feat in seven of the past 11 years, but he is not taking the success for granted.

“Every achievement is special. I try to make myself aware of the fact that I am in a very unique position. It’s difficult for me to understand the magnitude of these achievements, not just for myself, but for the sport, while I’m still [an] active player,” Djokovic admitted. “Probably when I retire, I’ll be able to reflect on that a little bit more and appreciate it a little bit more.

“Of course I’m very appreciative and grateful for it now, but what is the next challenge is always in your mind while you’re an active player. It’s constantly another task, another tournament. So [I] don’t have really much time to enjoy the success, so to say, because you always have to turn the next page.”

For Djokovic, that will be a tantalising clash against World No. 2 Daniil Medvedev on Sunday in the Paris final. After that, the Serbian will try to earn a record-tying sixth Nitto ATP Finals crown.

The records are adding up for the man who has been World No. 1 for 345 weeks, longer than any other player in history. Djokovic does not hold one of his historic achievements in higher regard than the others, though.

“I think every record stands for itself. I value all the records and achievements greatly. Being historically [the] No. 1-ranked player in the world is probably the paramount achievement of our sport,” Djokovic said. “Also, finishing the season as year-end No. 1 requires full commitment throughout the entire year and consistency and playing the best tennis in the biggest events, which accumulate the most points that enable you to be highly ranked. So that’s what I have done this year.”

The 36-time ATP Masters 1000 champion will now focus on Medvedev, who ended his pursuit of the Grand Slam in the US Open final. Djokovic leads their ATP Head2Head series 5-4, but the Serbian knows the Russian is a dangerous foe. They trained together just more than a week ago in France, where they played what Djokovic called “a very close practice set”.

“It’s a great challenge, a great battle ahead of me. I can see today that Daniil has found his best play. He makes less mistakes. But I feel good on court as well and I hope that the start of the match will be better than in New York,” Djokovic said. “I need to play my best tennis to hoist the trophy. I know what I have to do. But then nothing is guaranteed 100 per cent. I’m ready for the battle.”

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Medvedev Sets Djokovic Final In Paris

  • Posted: Nov 06, 2021

Reigning champion Daniil Medvedev powered into his second consecutive Rolex Paris Masters final on Saturday as he snapped Alexander Zverev’s eight-match winning streak, downing the German 6-2, 6-2.

The second seed soared to the title in Paris 12 months ago and put himself in a position to lift the trophy in the French capital again as he dictated against Zverev with his flat groundstrokes to advance after 80 minutes.

Medvedev saved all three break points he faced and soaked up the German’s powerful hitting, committing just eight unforced errors to level their ATP Head2Head series at 5-5. With his victory, the Russian has now won his past four meetings against Zverev, including last year’s championship match in Paris.

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The World No. 2 is aiming to win his second ATP Masters 1000 crown of the season, after triumphing in Toronto in August. The 25-year-old also captured his maiden major title at the US Open in September and lifted trophies in Marseille and Mallorca earlier this year.

Medvedev will face Novak Djokovic in the final after the Serbian edged Hubert Hurkacz 3-6, 6-0, 7-6(5). The 34-year-old’s victory meant he secured the year-end No. 1 FedEx ATP Ranking for a record seventh time, eclipsing the mark he previously shared with Pete Sampras.

Zverev has been in dominant form since the start of the Tokyo Olympics, where he won the singles gold medal. The World No. 4 has won 28 of his past 31 matches, also triumphing in Cincinnati during his run. However, the 24-year-old was unable to find his best form against a relentless Medvedev.

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History Made As Djokovic Secures Record-Breaking Seventh Year-End No. 1

  • Posted: Nov 06, 2021

Novak Djokovic has made history again. The Serbian today secured the year-end No. 1 FedEx ATP Ranking for a record seventh time, eclipsing the mark previously he shared with American Pete Sampras.

By defeating Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz in Saturday’s Rolex Paris Masters semi-finals, Djokovic breaks a tie with Sampras, who completed six straight year-end No. 1 finishes between 1993-98. Djokovic has achieved the feat in seven of the past 11 seasons (also 2011-12, ’14-15, ’18 and ’20).

“Just proud and extremely happy. Obviously that was one of the biggest goals and it’s always one of the biggest goals, to try to be No. 1 and end the season as No. 1,” Djokovic said. “To do it for the record seventh time and surpass my childhood idol and role model, Pete, is incredible. Very grateful, very blessed to be in this position.”

Andrea Gaudenzi, ATP Chairman, said: “Finishing the season as No. 1 is a monumental achievement. To do it seven times, in this incredible era of men’s professional tennis, is hard to describe. Novak deserves huge credit and recognition for continuing to redefine excellence in our sport, year after year. Congratulations to him and his team on this outstanding new milestone.”

The 34-year-old, who extends his record as the oldest man to finish year-end No. 1, came within one victory of completing the Grand Slam in 2021. He went 27-1 at the four major championships with trophies at the Australian Open (d. Medvedev), Roland Garros (d. Tsitsipas) and Wimbledon (d. Berrettini). His bid to match the feat of Don Budge (1938) and Rod Laver (1962 and 1969) ended in the US Open final (l. to Medvedev).

It marks the 17th time in the past 18 seasons (barring Andy Murray in 2016) that the year-end No. 1 has been held by Djokovic, Rafael Nadal (five times: 2008, ’10, ’13, ’17, ’19) or Roger Federer (also five times: 2004-07, ’09).

Djokovic eclipsed Federer’s all-time mark of 310 weeks at No. 1 on 8 March and will finish 2021 having held the top ranking for 348 weeks (as of 22 November). The Serbian’s fifth stint in the top spot began the week of 3 February 2020.

In addition to his three major titles, Djokovic also triumphed on home soil at the Belgrade Open in May. He became the first man since Laver to win each major twice at Roland Garros in June and earned a sixth Wimbledon title in July, drawing him level on a record 20 majors with Federer and Nadal. Djokovic’s career trophy haul stands at 85 (fifth in the Open Era).

Djokovic will attempt to secure a record-equalling sixth Nitto ATP Finals trophy at the Pala Alpitour in Turin from 14-21 November. He will be making his 14th appearance at the season finale, where he will officially receive the year-end ATP Tour No. 1 trophy presented by FedEx.


Year    Player
2021    Novak Djokovic (Serbia)
2020    Novak Djokovic (Serbia)
2019    Rafael Nadal (Spain)
2018    Novak Djokovic (Serbia)
2017    Rafael Nadal (Spain)
2016    Andy Murray (Great Britain)
2015    Novak Djokovic (Serbia)
2014    Novak Djokovic (Serbia)
2013    Rafael Nadal (Spain)
2012    Novak Djokovic (Serbia)
2011    Novak Djokovic (Serbia)
2010    Rafael Nadal (Spain)
2009    Roger Federer (Switzerland)
2008    Rafael Nadal (Spain)
2007    Roger Federer (Switzerland)
2006    Roger Federer (Switzerland)
2005    Roger Federer (Switzerland)
2004    Roger Federer (Switzerland)
2003    Andy Roddick (U.S.)
2002    Lleyton Hewitt (Australia)
2001    Lleyton Hewitt (Australia)
2000    Gustavo Kuerten (Brazil)
1999    Andre Agassi (U.S.)
1998    Pete Sampras (U.S.)
1997    Pete Sampras (U.S.)
1996    Pete Sampras (U.S.)
1995    Pete Sampras (U.S.)
1994    Pete Sampras (U.S.)
1993    Pete Sampras (U.S.)
1992    Jim Courier (U.S.)
1991    Stefan Edberg (Sweden)
1990    Stefan Edberg (Sweden)
1989    Ivan Lendl (Czech Republic)
1988    Mats Wilander (Sweden)
1987    Ivan Lendl (Czech Republic)
1986    Ivan Lendl (Czech Republic)
1985    Ivan Lendl (Czech Republic)
1984    John McEnroe (U.S.)
1983    John McEnroe (U.S.)
1982    John McEnroe (U.S.)
1981    John McEnroe (U.S.)
1980    Bjorn Borg (Sweden)
1979    Bjorn Borg (Sweden)
1978    Jimmy Connors (U.S.)
1977    Jimmy Connors (U.S.)
1976    Jimmy Connors (U.S.)
1975    Jimmy Connors (U.S.)
1974    Jimmy Connors (U.S.)
1973    Ilie Nastase (Romania)

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Milan Groups Are Set

  • Posted: Nov 06, 2021

The groups for the 2021 Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals were set Saturday in Milan.

The 18-year-old Carlos Alcaraz is making his debut at the 21-and-under event and will lead Group A alongside Brandon Nakashima, Juan Manuel Cerundolo and Holger Vitus Nodskov Rune.

Italian Lorenzo Musetti will carry home hopes in Milan at the fourth edition of the event and will compete in Group B. The 19-year-old is joined by Sebastian Korda, Sebastian Baez and Hugo Gaston.

Group A
Carlos Alcaraz (Spain)
Brandon Nakashima (United States)
Juan Manuel Cerundolo (Argentina)
Holger Vitus Nodskov Rune (Denmark)

Group B
Sebastian Korda (United States)
Lorenzo Musetti (Italy)
Sebastian Baez (Argentina)
Hugo Gaston (France)

Alcaraz has enjoyed a breakthrough 2021 season, capturing his maiden tour-level title in Umag, before he earned his first Top 10 win over No. 3-ranked Stefanos Tsitsipas en route to the US Open quarter-finals. The Spaniard will look to follow in the footsteps of previous Next Gen ATP Finals champions Hyeon Chung, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Jannik Sinner.

Nakashima trained in Milan on Saturday after earning his place following an impressive year. The 20-year-old reached back-to-back tour-level finals in Los Cabos and Atlanta and arrives in form, after winning an ATP Challenger Tour title in Brest last week.

Six different countries are represented in the eight-man singles field, with the event to be held at the Allianz Cloud in Milan, from 9-13 November.

Musetti features in Group B following a standout season in which he rose from No. 128 in the FedEx ATP Rankings to a career-high No. 57 in September. Korda will rival the Italian in Group B after securing his spot. The American captured his maiden tour-level crown in Parma in May and enjoyed a run to the fourth round at Wimbledon in July.

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Djokovic Claims Rollercoaster Hurkacz Win To Reach Paris Final

  • Posted: Nov 06, 2021

Novak Djokovic rallied from a set down – and a shock final-set fadeout – to defeat Hubert Hurkacz Saturday to power into his seventh Rolex Paris Masters final, clinching the year-end No. 1 FedEx ATP Ranking for a record seventh time in the process.

The 3-6, 6-0, 7-6(5) win guarantees that the Serb will finish the year No. 1, breaking a tie of six year-end No. 1 finishes he has shared with Pete Sampras (1993-1998).

“Just proud and extremely happy,” Djokovic said of clinching No. 1. “Obviously that was one of the biggest goals and it’s always one of the biggest goals, to try to be No. 1 and end the season as No. 1,” Djokovic said. “To do it for the record seventh time and surpass my childhood idol and role model, Pete, is incredible. Very grateful, very blessed to be in this position.”

Djokovic on Sunday will play for his sixth Paris title as he looks to break another significant record he shares: He is tied with Rafael Nadal for most ATP Masters 1000 titles won (36).

Djokovic responded from dropping the first set to bagel Hurkacz in the second set and continued on to win 10 of 11 games to break open the match with a 4-1 lead in the third set. The Pole struggled to hit winners against the elastic Serb, who was always expected to be steadiest from the baseline, seemingly leaving Hurkacz without a clear path to victory.

But in a dramatic plot twist, the Pole rediscovered his first serve and penetrating groundstrokes to pressure Djokovic, who had seized momentum largely by making fewer errors. Suddenly, “steady as she goes” no longer was good enough to get the job done given Hurkacz’s renewed confidence and “go big or go home” mindset.

Hurkacz broke back for 3-4 and then levelled at 4-all and saved a match point on his own serve at 4-5. Little separated the pair in the dramatic third-set tie-break, but Djokovic emerged victorious when Hurkacz narrowly pushed wide a backhand volley.

Despite a standout season that saw him come within one match of completing the Grand Slam at Flushing Meadows, the Belgrade native is looking for his first Masters 1000 title of the year. As he continues to round into form in his first tournament since the US Open, Djokovic successfully rallied from losing the first set for the 13th time this year.

“I was not concerned much,” Djokovic said of the lack of match practice coming into the tournament. “To be honest, I enjoyed my time off and spent plenty of time with my family and spent time at my tennis center in Serbia where I have a lot of work to do and some other things that occupy my time.

“I wasn’t bored without tennis, but I like competing so I was looking forward to coming to Paris and the biggest reason coming here was to clinch the year-end No. 1. Now that I managed to do it, it’s a huge relief, as well.”

In Sunday’s final he will play defending champion Daniil Medvedev, who will be looking to level his ATP Head2Head series against the Serb to 5-5. So while he is delighted to have clinched year-end No. 1, Djokovic is not resting.

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”The job is not done,” he said. “Obviously reaching the finals of one of the biggest tournaments that we have in our sport on our tour is something that stands out regardless of the year-end achievement that is completed.

”So hopefully going to have another great match tomorrow, and then take it from there.”

Miami champion Hurkacz will now turn his focus to his debut at the Nitto ATP Finals, where he may get the opportunity to improve his 0-3 ATP Head2Head record against Djokovic.

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Mektic/Pavic Claim Year-End No. 1 FedEx ATP Doubles Team Ranking

  • Posted: Nov 06, 2021

Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic have clinched the year-end No. 1 FedEx ATP Doubles Team Ranking after a season full of historic achievements. Pavic has finished in top spot twice before, partnering Oliver Marach in 2018 and Bruno Soares last year. This is the first time Mektic has been part of the year-end No. 1 tandem.

The Croatians are the only men from their country to claim year-end No. 1 in singles or doubles. They began the year in top form and never looked back, tallying an impressive nine tour-level titles, including victories at Wimbledon, the Tokyo Olympics and three ATP Masters 1000 events.

“I think it’s a really good achievement, especially after the year we had. I was really looking forward to this happening,” Mektic said. “That was definitely one of the goals when I saw how things were going. I think it’s a pretty good achievement to crown the whole year of really nice wins and great tournament titles with the No. 1 ranking.”

“I’m extremely happy. Obviously it’s been the third time for me in the past four years with three different partners. It is the first time I’ve done it with my fellow Croatian, so I think it’s definitely a big achievement for us personally, but also in general for Croatian tennis to have a year-end No. 1 team coming from Croatia,” Pavic said. “I think it’s a big achievement. Obviously we had a great year and we’re looking forward to playing in Turin this year at the Finals and trying to finish the year the same as we started.”

Mektic, 32, and Pavic, 28, began their partnership this year with titles at the Antalya Open (d. Dodig/Polasek) and the Murray River Open (d. Chardy/Martin) before advancing to the Australian Open semi-finals. Their season-opening 12-match winning streak was a sign of things to come.

The Croatians won 56 of their first 61 matches in 2021, including Masters 1000 triumphs at the Miami Open presented by Itau, the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters (d. Evans/N. Skupski both times) and the Internazionali BNL d’Italia (d. Ram/Salisbury). Mektic and Pavic made history at Wimbledon, where they became the first all-Croatian team to win a men’s doubles Grand Slam title (d. Granollers/Zeballos).

The countrymen did not suffer a let-down at the Tokyo Olympics, where they defeated fellow Croatians Marin Cilic and Ivan Dodig for the gold medal. Mektic and Pavic have also lifted trophies at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam (d. Krawietz/Tecau) and the Viking International Eastbourne (d. Ram/Salisbury) this year. 

Andrea Gaudenzi, ATP Chairman said: “Congratulations to Nikola and Mate on an outstanding season and finishing the year as No.1. To start so strongly and have such success in their first season as a team is impressive and they should be truly proud of their achievements. We look forward to seeing them in action in Turin at the Nitto ATP Finals.”

Mektic and Pavic will be the top seeds at the Nitto ATP Finals, to be held at the Pala Alpitour in Turin from 14-21 November. Mektic emerged victorious alongside Dutchman Wesley Koolhof at the season finale last year, when it was held at The O2 in London.

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