World No. 1 Novak Djokovic insisted he didn’t panic after losing the first set to Daniil Medvedev as he still thought he had a good shot at winning the match.
Djokovic, 34, recovered from a set down to beat Medvedev 4-6 6-3 6-3 in the Paris Masters final.
“Even though I lost the 1st set, I felt it was still very close. I wasn’t enough consistant from the baseline. I know that the things would get better and better because I felt good on the court, I was relaxed because I clinched the 1st place,” Djokovic said, per Tennis Majors.
“I’ve had more free points on my first serve that I expected. Because he returns well. It was just a very close match, with very small margin here and there. I’m happy by the way I could close it.
“That was part of the tactical plan to mix it up, play serve and volley because he stands back, to take him time… He’s so good is forcing you to do an unforced error. I wanted to be a little bit unpredictible. He liked pace and tempo.”
Djokovic drops major praise on Medvedev
After the final, Djokovic admitted Medvedev is one of his biggest rivals and labeled the Russian as “the leader of the new generation.”
“There’s always pressure playing my biggest rival in tennis at the moment in the season, but I didn’t want to be in a stressful mode,” Djokovic said.
“Daniil is : big serve, moves well for his height, and no hole in his game. He always makes you play and has ways to come back into the point from difficult positions. His movements are fantastic. You see his devotion on daily basis. A nice guy, all-around player.
“Medvedev is the leader of the new generation of players.”
Djokovic lost to Medvedev in the US Open final but he got his revenge in the Paris final.