Djokovic, after achieving victory in the semifinals against Hurkacz in Paris-Bercy.CHRISTIAN HARTMANN (Reuters)
In his stubborn and open desire to break all records and become the best tennis player of all time in terms of numbers, Novak Djokovic took another capital step this Saturday by beating the Polish Robert Hurkacz in the Paris-Bercy semifinals (3-6 , 6-0 and 7-6 (5) and thus be guaranteed to close this 2021 at the top of the world list. That is, Nole, 34, is already officially one of the few, king of kings. Equalized so far With the American Pete Sampras as the player who has managed to occupy the throne the most times at the end of the season, it will be seven years now, so he already governs alone.
Djokovic got it after another one of those amazing script twists that he usually stars in, after coming back from a duel that started on a hill for him and ended wonderfully. The triumph granted him a pass to the final of the Parisian tournament, of which he owns, of course, the record for titles (5), and he met with the Russian Daniil Medvedev (double 6-2 to Alexander Zverev), the rival who left a deep wound in September when he blew his chance of catching his 21st major. The Serbian, then, will expand the record and will appear at the top of the ranking again after having been awarded the 1 final in 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2018 and 2020.
“It is incredible to have been able to surpass my childhood idol,” he referred to Sampras, today second ahead of Jimmy Connors, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer (5). Achieving this means having an absolute commitment throughout the season and displaying the best tennis in the best tournaments. I am in a special, unique situation. It really is difficult for me to be aware of all that I am achieving; maybe when I retire I can appreciate it better. Now I don’t have time to enjoy it, ”added the Belgrade team, which this week reappeared after 51 days without competing, after having lost the final of the US Open precisely against Medvedev, 25 years old.
The Muscovite was the only opponent who had the option to steal this last honor, but the calculator assures Djokovic to enjoy a privileged situation. “The last time he clearly surpassed me, but the last time [en la final del Open de Australia de este curso] I was the one who surpassed him. Above all, I want the spectator to see an exciting match, ”he added, having this Sunday (15.00, Movistar) the opportunity to obtain another record, since if he achieves his sixth trophy in Bercy he would raise his 37th in a Masters 1000 in parallel, so he would distance himself from Nadal.
Russia, champion in Prague
On the other hand, this Saturday the Russian Federation was crowned in the Billie Jean King Cup (the old Federation Cup) by beating Switzerland 2-0 in the final. Daria Kasatkina beat Jil Teichmann in the first individual match (6-2, 6-4) and Liudmila Samsonova rounded off her team’s work against Belinda Bencic (3-6, 6-3, 6-4). Indicated as a favorite before the start of the tournament, Russia – the Russian Federation these days due to the sanction that weighs on the country for state doping – has five titles in the competition, the same as Spain. The team captained by Anabel Medina was eliminated in the initial group stage, losing on the last day against the United States.