Djokovic A Winner In Paris Masters Title Defense Opener; Nadal, Fritz Wed.
by Staff | November 1st, 2022, 9:08 pm
  • 6 Comments

Novak Djokovic opened his Paris Indoors Masters title defense with a victory over the big-serving, hard-charging Maxime Cressy 7-6(1), 6-4.

“It was very intense, just a lot of pressure,” said Djokovic who has won his last 10 matches. “When you play someone that serves this well first and second serve you don’t have much room to relax and maybe play kind of a softer few games. You just have to be on your toes all the time. Credit to him for serving big in some big moments. I had my chances first set to break him, second as well.

“A break came at the right time, perfect time actually. I was very pleased with the way I held my serve, didn’t face a break point,” he added, noting the fast conditions that made it even harder to return.”

Cressy finished with 15 aces but 10 double faults including two in the first set tiebreaker.

“It’s nice to see someone that comes in after fist and second serve,” added Djokovic. “It just gives a different look from the tennis fans’ point of view. I appreciate that, I respect that. It takes courage to play with this modern tennis nowadays this kind of style that is almost an ancient style. You don’t have many players that do that. Possibly he’s the only one at the top.”

Djokovic will have a day off until returning Thursday to meet Karen Khachanov.

Casper Ruud began his Paris Masters with a win defeating French veteran Richard Gasquet 6-1, 7-6(7). Andrey Rublev chopped down John Isner 6-2, 6-3 to strengthen his Turin chances.

Hubert Hurkacz stayed in the Turin chase with a straight set win over Adrian Mannarino. Denis Shapovalov and Pablo Carreno Busta were also winners.

In the match of the day, 19-year-old Holger Rune saved three match points to beat Stan Wawrinka 4-6, 7-5, 7-6(3).

Rune, who came into his debut at the event having won 14 of his last 16, saved two match points in the second set serving 4-5 and the other serving 5-6 in the third.

Tomorrow, Rafael Nadal opens play looking for his first Paris title. Nadal hasn’t played a singles match since a US Open loss to Frances Tiafoe.

Taylor Fritz returns to face the retiring Gilles Simon and Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas are also in action.

“You need to be confident,” Nadal said. “You need to play aggressive. It’s a surface that if you are not serving well, that’s the toughest part. You need to have automatic things like this, because a couple of mistakes, it’s not like clay where you can have time to come back. If you lose your serve, then you are in big trouble.”


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6 Comments for Djokovic A Winner In Paris Masters Title Defense Opener; Nadal, Fritz Wed.

Dave Says:

I said near the beginning of the year that Medvedev wouldn’t be in the top 3 by the end of the year because players would learn to stay in long rallies when he does his slow balling tactics and have a chance because he gets tired himself. Well today Alex D. Did just that. And sure enough, Medvedev double faulted I think twice in a row to end the match as the fatigue showed. He might not even be in the top 5 if he doesn’t do well in Turin. And it wasn’t because he was injured for part of the clay season. Because he doesn’t get a lot of points there. And it wasn’t because he couldn’t play Wimbledon because there were no points there. In fact, I think he went deep in 3 grass court tournaments in a row that had points, so he collected more points than most on grass this year.

Djokovic looks in peak form at the moment. His serve looks amazing. I could see him winning this week. Let’s see what happens.


chrisford1 Says:

I’d really like to see Djokovic get another ATP Championship. He hasn’t been able to win like he used to in that format.
And it’s been a tough year for the Russians. The war has made their participation in any tournaments uncertain.
I’m glad being a tennis fan that I get an inkling – grew to see how people from other nations are decent people. Even ones the US bombed (Serbia) or started a proxy war with (Russia). Being a tennis fan helps someone who is like 99.9% of humanity not a globe-jetting about cosmopolitan – be more resistant to manipulative propaganda from Ruling Elites.


Dave Says:

Chrisford1,

I’ve also really wanted to see Djokovic win another ATP Championship as well. Every time I thought it was going to happen, he just hasn’t looked very hungry for it down the stretch. The match against Murray was one of the worst matches I’ve seen from him. The Zverev match in the second set of the final Djokovic looked like he gave up. Even last year in the third set Djokovic didn’t seem bothered that he lost. I think things could be different this year because he is fresh and looks hungrier than ever.


chrisford1 Says:

Exactly, Dave. I was going to say he had some killer seasons where he even led the ATP in most games played and was running on fumes when he reached the ATP. But other times, I felt it too…a lack of hunger and motivation. And though I can be disappointed he didn’t try to be at a mental peak at the ATP last year (or in several other years) , I can understand. You can’t always give it everything mentally and/or physically, and it’s the end of a long damn season and everyone but 10 guys are done for the year, out fishing or skiing or just eating what you want a bit and staying up late at night.
What is your opinion on how long Andy will play? I discussed Rafa on another threat. Gave some reasons why he may leave the sport. Another one: Rafa Jr. will drive Rafa nuts. How will a 24/7 needy baby fit in Rafa’s OCD world??
But on Andy, play on for the pleasure of it? He just doesn’t look like he can play at the top. Do you think he will stay and risk his hips on a “long time on tour in the shadows of what once was” like Verdasco or Venus Williams?


Dave Says:

Ya exactly. I understand that he was just not able to have the same motivation at the end of the season. I felt good about Andy saying he wasn’t physically in good enough shape recently. That totally makes sense seeing him play lately. I think Murray will definitely get back in the top 30. He won’t drag things out like Venus Williams. I think Andy plays 2023 and 2024 and retires after that. Rafa is a difficult one for me to know for sure. Every time you think he’s done, he’s not done. Your right though about the OCD part. I have OCD myself and a friend of mine who has a child that’s 1 has definitely changed him where he is extremely attentive all the time watching her every move. I could see Rafa being like that as well. As far as it affecting his tennis, that’s a tough call. Rafa always finds ways to adapt. Will having a child be something that he just won’t be able to 100% adapt too? That’s a difficult question to know. He didn’t lose to Tommy Paul because of lack of motivation. He lost because his physical conditioning wasn’t there. He wasn’t ready for a tough physical match against an in form player.


chrisford1 Says:

Dave –
Many of the most successful people in sports and the sciences and business have had OCD. You are in good company. Raphael Nadal is a very nice guy that holds it all together with focus, things being ordered, rituals to create order…and the poor guy just got a package of chaos named Rafa Jr. I think it’s funny and can’t wait to see an interview from him on Life as a Dad!
Hope you are right about Andy. I’d like him try for the best he can physically be, maybe make a transition to doubles, but he’s got a ton of kids, other things he can do. Venus seems fine being on Tour, being a shadow of what she was because she has spent most of her life in pro tennis, globehopping, no family of her own. I’m fine with that. She’s fine with that. It is her comfortable world and I think she stays as a doubles player and coach until she is old!

I just don’t think Andy is of a similar disposition. I hope he gets out sooner vs. later after he proves what he wants to prove to everyone about coming back. I don’t want him to cling on like Jimmy Connors did – if he ruins one or both hips , well that would be awful. Connors, louse that he is, was right about knowing later that “gutting it out no matter what it cost his long term health, was a very bad choice.


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