Djokovic Tops Monfils in Riveting Paris Masters Final

by John on November 15, 2009

France Tennis BNP Masters

Novak Djokovic edged local favorite Gael Monfils 6-2, 5-7, 7-6 (3) to win the BNP Paribas Masters in Paris earlier today. In a match riddled by momentum swings, the No. 3-seeded Djokovic prevailed in 2 hours and 43 minutes when the No. 15-seeded Frenchman doublefaulted on his opponent’s first match point. Djokovic fell to his knees and screamed in relief. The title was Djokovic’s fifth of the year, tying him with Rafael Nadal for second most on the ATP Tour. Britain’s Andy Murray leads with six. Djokovic, who defeated Roger Federer in the final at Basel last week, improved to a tour best 76-18 on the season. The Serb overpowered No. 2 Nadal in yesterday’s semis to reach his 10th final of the year. “Winning back to back titles at this level is a huge achievement for me, and adding to that, beating the World No. 1 and No. 2,” said Djokovic. “I really feel that I’m in great form right now.” Djokovic won the first set easily and raced to a 3-0 lead in the second before Monfils rebounded to level at 3-3. The Frenchman broke again in the 11th game and held to take the set. Djokovic twice lead by a service break in the final set, but was foiled both times by Monfils who fought his way back to force a tiebreaker. “It was unbelievably difficult,” Djokovic said afterward. “Gael was very unpredictable and he was hitting the ball very good.” The title was the 16th of Djokovic’s career and third in his last four tournaments. Nole also won at Beijing in early October. Monfils, ranked No. 16 coming into the tournament, will improve to No. 13 when the new ATP rankings come out tomorrow. “I didn’t find any solution in the beginning, I was playing too defensive,” Monfils said. “But I didn’t lose faith in my chances and I almost overturned the match.” Based on his current form, Djokovic should be a strong favorite to defend his title at the eight-man ATP World Tour Finals in London next week.

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