Djokovic and Medvedev renew rivalry for Paris Masters crown

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They were programmed to meet in the final and on Sunday at the Accor Arena in Bercy, Novak Djokovic, the top seed, will take on the second seed Daniil Medvedev for the Paris Masters crown.

Djokovic advanced to a record seventh final in Paris after a gruelling three-set victory over the seventh seed Hubert Hurkacz.

It finished 3-6, 6-0, 7-6 after two and a half hours.

The win took the 34-year-old Serb to another milestone: world number one at the end of the season for a seventh time.

Pete Sampras managed it six times. Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal - both absent from the Paris Masters due to injury - have enjoyed the perch on five occasions.

Stakes

Medvedev, who won the Paris Masters in 2020, denied Djokovic glory in September when he beat him in the US Open final to collect his first title at a Grand Slam tournament.

Djokovic had been attempting to become the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to lift the trophy at the four Grand Slam venues in Melbourne, Paris, London and New York in the same calendar year.

“Last time we played, he outplayed me,” said Djokovic of their New York showdown.

“I outplayed him in the finals of the Australian Open … so hopefully I'll be able to turn the tables around this time, learning from that experience in New York.”

Romp

In Saturday's second semi-final, Medvedev pulverized the fourth seed Alexander Zverev 6-2, 6-2.

So frustrated was the 24-year-old German that he smashed his racquet after conceding a break in the second set.

His agony ended after 80 minutes on centre court.

On Sunday, Medvedev will test his wits for a 10th time against someone he has described as a childhood idol.

"When I was young I would watch him on TV,” said the 25-year-old Russian who has won four of those meetings.

“I remember the first encounter in 2017 at the Davis Cup. It was magical. And since then it's always a wide range of emotions when I play him."

After the Paris Masters, both Djokovic and Medvedev will feature at the men’s season-ending championships in Turin.

If they survive that tournament, they will feature for their respective countries at the Davis Cup between 25 November and 5 December.

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