Djokovic Downs Medvedev For 6th Paris Indoor Title, Record 37th Masters
by Staff | November 7th, 2021, 7:38 pm
  • 14 Comments

Novak Djokovic became just the third person to sweep both top level tennis events in Paris in a calendar year by beating Daniil Medvedev 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 to collect his sixth indoor title.

The title was also the Serb’s record 37th at the Masters level, and he avenges that devastating loss to Medvedev at the US Open.

Medvedev won his fourth straight 6-4 set over Djokovic after taking the opener. But unlike New York, Djokovic was able to rally.

The Serb began taking the net away from the Russian who positions himself so deep in the court. Even serve-and-volleying. And the tactic worked.

Djokovic finished 27 of 36 from the net.

“Come in to the net and be a little bit more free on the shots, swing through the ball,” Djokovic said of the change. “That’s what was happening pretty much the entire match, especially in the second and the third set.

“That break of his serve in the fourth game of second set was probably the turning point. I got the crowd involved. We played some great rallies.”

Djokovic had clinched the year-end No. 1 ranking yesterday which was a welcome relief.

“When I did that yesterday, you know, I just kind of felt more relaxed today,” Djokovic said. “Even though there is always a pressure playing against No. 2 of the world and probably my biggest rival in tennis at the moment in this season, and, you know, I wanted to finish the tournament with a trophy. There is no doubt about it.”

Djokovic 37 Masters title break the tie he and Rafael Nadal shared for the all-time mark. And he joins Ilie Nastase (1973) and Andre Agassi (1999) as the only players to win both the French Open and the Paris Indoors in the same year.

Medvedev was trying earn his fifth win over Djokovic and defend his 2020 Paris title. Afterward, he wasn’t pleased with the boisterous crowd but credited Djokovic.

“I felt good on the court coming into the match today. More relaxed, you know, because I didn’t have the pressure that I need to win because of the rankings or anything like that,” Medvedev said.

“I just felt like I could maybe play the style of tennis that I really want to play every single match, you know, come in to the net and be a little bit more free on the shots, swing through the ball.

“That’s what was happening pretty much the entire match, especially in the second and the third set,” he said. “Actually I got probably more free points on my first serve than I would expect, because he’s such a great returner, he reads the game well, he makes you suffer really on his return games.

“But on the other side, he wins his service games quite fast and comfortably, because he just has a big serve. And he’s improved over the years, coming to the net, not afraid to be aggressive.”

Djokovic and Medvedev will now head to the ATP finals in Turin where the two will again be the 1-2 favorites.

“Throughout my career, I have always been honest enough to say that the history of our sport is too big a motivation. It is an objective, yes, to prove that I can break all the records with all the results that I can obtain on the tour professionally,” he said.

“I love breaking records. I’m very motivated to carry on. My priority is the Grand Slams and Masters 1000 where you can gain the largest number of points. This is an added benefit of our sport.”


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14 Comments for Djokovic Downs Medvedev For 6th Paris Indoor Title, Record 37th Masters

Wog Boy Says:

Dave,
If you are around, it looks like Nole heard you, he didn’t fell into the trap, he won this mach with S&V and coming to the net.
Last point was example how hard is to hit the winner against Medvedev, after nicely working out the point he hit BHDTL, which would be the winner against anyone else but Russian, his racket was there, so Nole had to go for another line, this time FH on the other side with big angle and Medvedev almost got that one too!

There are few tall players with a big wingspan in top 10 but none of them moves like Medvedev, watching his body and arms it’s like octopus moving, you have the feeling that his arm has not one but few bending points, few extra elbows.


Dave Says:

Wog Boy,

People say that Medvedev lost to Rublev because he hit his hand on the camera at the back of the court. Not true. Rublev didn’t try to be as aggressive as other matches and was patient in rallies. Go and watch the Medvedev loss to Rublev, Dmitrov at Indian Wells and now Djokovic. Like clock work Medvedev gets exhausted and starts trying to play aggressive out of desperation because he doesn’t have enough energy left. It’s at the 1 hour and 45 minute to 2 hour mark that this happens if a player is willing to be patient enough for this to happen. I keep being this up because it’s shocking how many people either aren’t noticing this or aren’t bringing this up. Djokovic just showed anyone who can volley that you can serve and volley against Medvedev all match long because he is probably an average returner at best if he stands at the baseline to return first serves instead of his usual back of the wall return position. He didn’t adjust his return position because he would have missed a lot more returns and just isn’t that great of a returner when he doesn’t have the extra time to set up his return. Djokovic wasnt fully committed to grinding it out at times and made errors on highly difficullt shots trying to finish the point. I was a bit worried that he wasn’t in the mood to commit to enough long rallies to finally get to Medvedev. But he did! And it paid off. More and more players will be patient against Medvedev and expose his one dimensional style of hitting low risk shots from the baseline and chasing everything down and sitting back waiting for your opponent to make an error. If Medvedev doesn’t adjust this, he will be out of the top 4 next year. Mark my words.


chrisford1 Says:

Dave, I don’t know. He really reminds me a lot of early Djokovic, who also rocketed up the rankings on incredible court coverage, return of serve. And everyone seeing the exceptional arrival and noting things not yet done well by him.
Like Djokovic, his backhand is his best weapon, and as he has come up, he has faced the same criticisms – less than stellar mid court and net game, lack of killer putaway shot. Now he’s showing a fine net game as an improvement. The man learns. Fast hands that also make him a video game brand ambassador, soft hands, touch, some nice drop shots. The serve is improving. Significantly, as it can for someone at 6’6′ American height. He destroyed Sasha in the semis and was no pushover for Novak.
It’s been a good day for both guys. And it’s like everyone is realizing “Hey, pretty cool new rivalry!”


Czarlazar Says:

I agree with Dave. Medvedev is Miroslav Mecir 2.0. Nice steady player but no big weapons to hurt you if you’re willing to be patient, extend rallies and wait for him to inevitably wilt. As Medvedev himself admitted at the US Open, he was close to cramping hard near the end of the third set and lucky for him he closed it out without having to extend to a fourth or fifth. Novak was too freaked out by the occasion in New York to play a smart, patient, grind it out strategy, sprinkled with assertive net play, which cost him a calendar grand slam. However, as today proved, Nole need not lose to Medvedev any longer, as the disparity in talent is wide and the way to beat him is now well understood.


Dave Says:

Chrisford1

Medvedev is 25. Go back to 2008 when Djokovic won the Australian Open at 20. His forehand was already miles ahead of Medvedevs. In 2011 Djokovic got his conditioning right. Medvedev doesn’t have that kind of endurance. He just doesn’t have it. Too many players don’t stay patient and stick around long enough in a match to find this out. Medvedev loves playing players like FAA. That’s why he beat him so easily at the US Open. Because unless FAA can consistently keep the ball in the court with his aggressive style, he will get dominated by Medvedev. He gifted that match to Medvedev. I will say that Medvedev hit his drop shot better than I’ve ever seen him hit it yesterday. He usually doesn’t have that kind of touch and has hit some horrible drop shots. Djokovic was the player yesterday that was forced to hit most of the high risk shots in the match. Medvedev doesn’t have the consistent precision to do this all match long. I can’t remember if it was you that made the comments about Murray. If your comparing Murray to Medvedev, it’s not even in the same league here. Murray is a million times more creative than Medvedev with what he can do with a tennis ball. And it’s not even close. Medvedev won’t match up well against Sinner at all. Sinner is a great returner. His backhand is solid and his forehand is way better than Medvedevs. Brooksby will also end up being a problem for Medvedev. Zverev will do better in the future. He is going to start winning against Medvedev again soon. Thiem at majors will beat Medvedev too. Medvedev is a good enough player that he will always be in the top ten. But he won’t always be in the top 4. He will bounce in and out.


Dave Says:

Here’s a good article about the serve and volley tactic.

https://www.atptour.com/en/news/brain-game-djokovic-medvedev-paris-2021

I don’t agree about the backhand to backhand exchanges being an advantage for Medvedev. Djokovic isnt 25 anymore and doesn’t want to be stuck in these no pace coming back to him backhand wars constantly. He can pull it off if he really wants to all match long. He just doesn’t want to anymore. For proof of that, go back to any big match with Murray at a major, and you will see backhand wars like no other matches.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Great hearing this analysis comparing to early Novak. I hadn’t noticed it, but it definitely seems apt.

The commentators made such a big deal out of the USO finals, like there was a new king and a new age in tennis, and Novak would just ride quietly into the sunset. Its crazy! Its one match!

Pretty cool new rivalry.


Dave Says:

Everyone who knows tennis, even if they don’t like Djokovic, that if he had any legs left for the final he would have eventually grinded Medvedev down and won the match. He had so many physical matches going into the finals. Switch the draw opponents for Medvedev and Djokovic and even with the pressure, Djokovic would have had a lot more left in the tank and Medvedev would have had less. But that’s not to make excuses. Because the draw was the draw and that’s fine. And on top of all that, Medvedev got the extra day off between QF and SF. So Djokovic played 7 matches in 13 days. I give Medvedev full credit for taking advantage of such a great opportunity. But I was never going to think somehow Medvedev was going to now be the superior player, Not a chance. Circumstances make a difference in many matches when you have top players playing against each other. I honestly think Thiem might have beaten Djokovic in the Australian Open final had he not played so many long matches before. He also didn’t have the extra day of rest on his side of the draw. Every factor can make a difference when it’s top players playing against each other. It doesn’t mean I think Thiem is a better player than Djokovic. It just means that sometimes there are other factors that can shift the outcome of a match. If Djokovic is in equal circumstances to Medvedev, I honestly don’t expect him to lose a best to 5 set match against Medvedev again. This is not to take anything away from any win by any player. But when it comes to giving a true assessment of where a players level is at in comparison to another player, you have to take everything into account. Medvedev didn’t all of a sudden pass Djokovic on actual tennis level because he won a match against a tired subpar Djokovic. If Medvedev and Djokovic are both playing at peak level Djokovic would win basically every time. Medvedevs skill level is getting totally blown out of proportion by tv commentators. He’s a really good player and has his strengths. But….nothing happens until it happens. This is his chance to get to number one. Because once the younger guys like Alcaraz and Sinner take over, there isn’t going to be room for Medvedev. And the reality is that 6 foot 6 players don’t age very well. Taller guys seem to be more injury prone. And their level seems to fall off in their 30s. I’m not talking about players like Isner who relies a lot on his serve and less on movement either, I’m talking about pretty much anyone else.


chrisford1 Says:

If I want to dissect any of the newcomers in comparison to the 4 Best players of the last 20 years, they will be wanting. And of course Medvedev at 25 and Thiem at 28 will never amass the records.
But it is a new era and expectations have to change. Less talk of new unbeatable records and more of changing of the guard, who is going to be in the few that will be the true heirs of the Big 4 and have the satisfaction of facing them and beating them at times early in their career.
Be happy with lowered expectations. Daniil may only last 5-6 years as a top player, may never overcome the ‘weaknesses’ in his game and get significantly better at age 25. But he is a lot of fun to watch and seems dedicated to working to be the best.
Zverev may become better. Perhaps Sinner may rise to #1. We don’t know. And we can enjoy the aged dinosaurs named Novak and Rafa as they try and fight off the new raptors a few more years.
And maybe a last hurrah along the way for Fed, Serena, and Bionic Andy fans.


Wog Boy Says:

It was really a joy to read this thread, even that no Nole fans are missing in action 😉

Dave, you are right on the money about USO final, Nole didn’t have anything left in the tank for the final, physically nor mentally. That is the reason why he broke down and cried, for the first time in his career he had Arthur Ash stadium cheering him and yet he knew he can’t do it, he felt like he betrayed them, for me that was hard to watch, not him losing the match, but him going through those emotions.
Almost every match on the road to final was a battle and he had to play two top 10 players to get there, with SF against Zverev sucking out last reserves, on the other side Medvedev didn’t play top 10 player until final, highest ranking was around #15, methinks.
As you said, that’s not an excuse, just a luck of the draw, sometimes is good, sometimes it opens up, which didn’t happen this time, but still, when was the last time someone made 4 GS finals and won 3 of them in the same year, I can’t recall, I was too young when that happened.


chrisford1 Says:

You just can’t get away from more crazy records, significant feats.
Winning Paris-Bercy meant Djokovic moved out of a tie with Rafa and Lendl to have 9 seasons with 5 or more ATP titles, to tie with Federer and be one year behind Connors.
Djokovic also leads in # of big titles and “Big Title Points” because he has tended to focus his schedule om Masters and Above a little more than Rafa, Fed, and Andy. If you count ATP titles all being 1500 pts though some are not but 1200 points…and assign 1500 arbitarily to Olympic Gold in singles – Novak is 62 big titles, 84,500 points.
Rafa 58 Big Titles and 78,500 points. While Fed is 54 Big Titles and 77,000 points.
It is POSSIBLE for Rafa to come back strong and vie with Djokovic to see who gets the most Big Titles and points, but I don’t think that is realistic for Federer. And I mentioned Andy, who has 46 singles wins in his career but 3 Slams, 1 ATP title, 2 Olympic golds, and 14 Masters 1000s – for 20 Big Titles and 24,500 points. Not with the Big 3 but amazing success nevertheless.


Dave Says:

Wog Boy,

One thing I really noticed was that he had no explosiveness in his legs for the returning. He has absolutely dominated better servers than Medvedev with less time to do it in best of 3 set matches. Isner a few times. Raonic many. And he wasn’t even getting returns back in play against Medvedev. This was the worst version of Djokovic I have seen in a major since the French Open Final against Nadal. And he was actually better in the Nadal match than this one. That’s how bad he was. And I still haven’t even seen the whole match. I had seen enough at some point during the second set.


Wog Boy Says:

Dave,

Your wish didn’t come through, Nole is playing on Monday, Medvedev group starts Sunday.


Dave Says:

Wog Boy,

I think I might know why it’s happened 2 years in a row. Tsitsipas was the defending champion in 2019 and in the opposite group of Djokovic. Medvedev was the 2020 Champion. Again in the opposite group of Djokovic. So maybe the defending champion plays on Sunday every year.


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