Novak Djokovic matches Roger Federer and moves closer to Rafael Nadal

Novak Djokovic threw everything at Majors and ranking records in 2021, playing on a high level and winning 27 out of 28 matches at four most notable events. Novak missed a calendar Grand Slam in New York, losing to Daniil Medvedev in the title clash in straight sets but still doing enough to match Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal on 20 Major titles. Novak played only three Masters 1000 events this season, suffering an early loss in Monte Carlo and reaching the Rome final, losing it to Rafael Nadal in three sets. Heading to Paris with no form and without matches since the US Open, Novak showed his greatness again and claimed the 37th Masters 1000 crown, moving one ahead of Rafael Nadal. Novak defeated Marton Fucsovics in three sets before Gael Monfils gave him a walkover in the third round, propelling the Serb into his 87th Masters 1000 quarter-final.

Djokovic became the third player with that many appearances in the last eight at the Masters 1000 level, matching Roger Federer and trailing ten to Rafael Nadal, who stands on top with 97 quarter-finals at this level. The five-time Paris Masters champion took down Fucsovics 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 in two hours for a winning start. Djokovic won 20 points more than Fucsovics, who gave his best to stay in touch with the world’s leading player. The Serb fired 24 winners and 23 unforced errors, and he overpowered the Hungarian in the shortest rallies up to four strokes to bring the victory home and advance into the third round. Novak lost serve twice and delivered four breaks from 11 opportunities to cross the finish line first and make a winning start. Djokovic broke in the encounter’s second game and moved 4-1 in front with an unreturned serve.

Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer are tied on 87 Masters 1000 quarter-finals.

Marton saved a break chance and held in game six before Novak secured another break and the set at 5-2. Djokovic played a loose forehand in the second set’s third game to experience a break and push his rival in front for the first time. Fucsovics secured the sixth game with a forehand winner at the net and clinched the eighth with a backhand crosscourt winner for a 5-3 lead. Serving for the set at 5-4, the Hungarian fired a service winner to force a decider. Novak broke Marton at love at 2-1 before the Hungarian broke back to stay on the positive side. Djokovic seized the fourth break chance to open a 4-2 gap in the sixth game and held with a service winner to move closer to the finish line. Marton fended off a match point on serve in game eight before Novak sealed the deal with a forehand drive-volley winner on his serve for a place in the third round. Djokovic did not have to show up on the court in the next match against an injured Gael Monfils, securing a place in the quarter-final where he faced Taylor Fritz.

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