World No. 10 Hubert Hurkacz showed his class and spoke extremely highly of Novak Djokovic after losing a tight clash to the world No. 1 at the Paris Masters.
Hurkacz, seeded at No. 7, pushed Djokovic hard but the Serb escaped with a 3-6 6-0 7-6 (5) loss to make the Paris final.
Djokovic had the year-end No. 1 position at stake and he didn’t fail to deliver and clinch the feat for a record seventh time.
“Novak won so many titles. He’s super solid in the tough moments. His return is incredible. He puts you a lot of pressure at any moment,” Hurkacz said after the loss, per Tennis Majors.
Hurkacz fell short of beating Djokovic for the first time
Hurkacz claimed the first break of the match in the eighth game and then saved a break point in the following game to serve out for the opener.
After losing the first set, Djokovic responded in style as he claimed three consecutive breaks to bagel Hurkacz and force a decider.
Djokovic then claimed an early fourth set break but Hurkacz broke back in the seventh game.
Djokovic had a chance to finish the match in the 10th game but Hurkacz saved a match point to eventually force a tie-break.
The two players were tied at 5-5 in the tie-break before Djokovic stepped up and won two consecutive points to complete a comeback win.
Djokovic arrived to Paris determined to make a deep run and secure the year-end No. 1 ranking.
“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 is now one win away from winning his sixth Paris title.
Djokovic won the Paris title in 2019 but didn’t defend his title at the tournament last year.