World number one Novak Djokovic defeated Grigor Dimitrov 6-4, 6-3 in Sunday’s final to win a record-extending seventh Paris Masters title and close in on securing the year-end number one ranking for an eighth time.
The 36-year-old Djokovic eclipsed his previous record set two years ago as the tournament’s oldest champion, capturing his 40th Masters 1000 title and stretching his winning run to 18 matches.
Djokovic collected his sixth title of the season to draw level with Carlos Alcaraz, adding to the Masters victory in Cincinnati that set him up for a landmark 24th Grand Slam singles crown at the US Open.
“It’s incredible. To be able to win it after quite challenging circumstances for me this week,” said Djokovic, who was hit by a stomach virus that left him feeling under the weather in Paris.
He was taken to three sets in each of his three previous rounds but didn’t face a single break point against the 17th-ranked Dimitrov.
“Basically, coming back from the brink of losing three matches in a row, on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. I was very close to losing those matches and somehow managed to find an extra gear when it was needed,” said Djokovic.
“I think the match was closer than the scoreline indicates, but another amazing win for me. I’m very proud of this one, considering what I’ve been through this week.”
He will take a 1,490-point lead over Alcaraz into the season-ending ATP Finals in Turin later this month. Djokovic won the tournament for the sixth time last year after Alcaraz withdrew because of injury.
Next up for the Serbian will be the season-ending ATP Tour Finals in Turin, where he is favourite to lift a record-breaking seventh title and be confirmed as the number one tennis player in the world for a record-extending eighth time.