Novak Djokovic has won 27 Masters 1000 hardcourts in 37 finals. Novak’s first Masters 1000 hard court final came at Indian Wells 2007, and only three players would beat him in title matches over the next 11 years. Those were the big three, with no one other than Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray getting it.
Karen Khachanov joined the list after beating Novak at the 2018 Paris Masters. Young Dane Holger Rune became the fifth player to defeat Djokovic in a hard-court Masters 1000 final a couple of weeks ago in Paris. Holger toppled Novak 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 in two hours and 33 minutes, coming from a set down and holding off in the decider to become the fourth-youngest Masters 1000 winner.
Holger arrived in Paris with three Masters 1000 wins to his credit. He defeated five straight Top-10 opponents to lift the trophy and write the history books. Novak had his chances to seal the match and win, even in straight sets.
He had three break chances early in the second set and squandered a match point that could have put him 4-1 ahead in the decider. The Serbian made one last effort when he trailed 6-5 in the last set. He had six break opportunities, but he blew them to push the young tennis player to the top.
Djokovic gained five more points, but not the crucial ones. Holger cleared ten of his twelve break chances and converted all three of his break points to clinch the victory. The Dane played aggressive tennis and hit 43 winners and 33 unforced errors.
Novak dominated with his first serve and got more service winners than Holger. The young Dane rallied in the longer exchanges on the baseline, dominating his shots and staying focused in crucial moments.
Clijsters pays tribute to Nadal
Comparing the playing styles of Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, Kim Clijsters stated that she is a fan of both.
“What Rafa did this year in Australia. You know, just knowing a little bit of how he was struggling with his foot and being so close to thinking, ‘Am I actually going to get to a level I want to get back to?’ And then for him to get to a level that was, maybe, some of the best tennis that I’ve ever seen him play, I thought was incredible,” Clijsters expressed. “Novak is like he just picks up from there, right? He goes to Wimbledon and you can see the focus,” she added.
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