The Masters 1000 series kicked off in 1990, and it has been dominated by three names. Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have set many records in the past 15 seasons, claiming 101 titles and standing way above others. Novak claimed the record-breaking 37th Masters 1000 title in Paris a few weeks ago. He grabbed another record at this series, becoming the first player with nine quarter-finals at seven different events! To achieve this feat, a player must stay competitive at a single tournament for a decade or more, which is never easy if you are not one of the three mentioned stars. Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras were the only players to achieve that in the 90s and early 00s, followed by Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray. Federer earned that at four different tournaments, Nadal raised the level and counted to six, and Djokovic passed them all with nine quarter-finals at seven Masters 1000 tournaments!
Novak shared the record with Rafa before advancing into the last eight in Paris for the ninth time since 2009. Djokovic had to score one win in the French capital to secure the 55th Masters 1000 quarter-final, beating Marton Fucsovics before Gael Monfils withdrew ahead of their third-round clash. In his first match since the US Open final, Djokovic ousted Fucsovics 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 in the second round. World no. 1 claimed 20 points more than his rival, starting all over after losing the opener to bring the victory home in two hours. The Serb fired 24 winners and 23 unforced errors and overpowered the Hungarian in the shortest rallies up to four strokes. 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 opened a 4-1 gap with an unreturned serve. Marton saved a break chance in game six before Novak secured another break and the set at 5-2.
Novak Djokovic is the first player with nine quarter-finals at seven Masters.
Djokovic played a loose forehand in the second set’s third game to experience a break, and Fucsovics 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 in the final set before the Hungarian broke back immediately. 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 his ninth Paris Masters quarter-final.