Djokovic triumphs in gruelling Paris final

Novak Djokovic won his 16th Masters title with a 7-5 7-5 win over David Ferrer in Paris today.

Like in yesterday’s semi-final against Roger Federer, Djokovic fell behind to a break in the opening stages. Despite Ferrer taking the early ascendancy it could have gone either way.

The tide turned soon after. At 5-4 up, the Spaniard came out to serve for the first set. The world number two prevented Ferrer from rounding off the set and heroically broke his serve for the first time. The Serb’s momentum followed through for him to earn a second consecutive break, subsequently taking the opening set 7-5, winning four straight games.

After the twists and turns of a dramatic ending to the opening set, David Ferrer, who played some fantastic tennis to beat Rafael Nadal yesterday, was the quickest out of the blocks and led by a break.

Trailing and under the cosh, Djokovic worked his magic to force his way back into the set. See a pattern? Nole seems to continually fall behind and then dig the goods out of the bag.

Repetition came into play in the second set, rather frustratingly for the feisty world number four. He failed to serve out a set again, proving costly. The Australian Open champion took his chances to reign and steal the Paris Masters title from last year’s champion Ferrer.

Both players got stuck into some long, hard fought rallies, making for a very alluring match. Maybe less so for the two battlers who, particularly David, appeared exhausted after the final ball.

One of the main differences on the day was Djokovic’s ability to finish off baseline skirmishes. He hit 34 winners to Ferrer’s 15. Another contributing distinction was Nole’s effectiveness at the net, where he only failed to convert 3 of his 18 net points.

Nonetheless it has been a marvellous week for David Ferrer, who will, however, travel to London ruing his missed chances. Honestly, I did considerably underestimate him. He’ll have to dust himself down for the encounter with a recharged Rafael Nadal on Tuesday.

Meanwhile Djokovic is regathering form at a perfect time. It’ll be a very interesting week, that’s for sure.

– Nathan Morley

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