Mendoza: Djokovic fulfills another dream

·2 min read

Novak Djokovic isn’t done yet. He still loves winning. He still loves the spotlight. He still loves records.

This despite being the world No. 1 tennis player in the last six years.

This despite being the world No. 1 in successive weeks of all time.

This despite being the co-owner of a record 20 Grand Slam titles with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

The Serbian sensation did acquire two more marks—the longest reigning No. 1 in the world and the longest reigning No. 1 in successive weeks.

Both feats preceded his win over Russian Daniil Medvedev 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the Rolex Paris Masters last weekend.

He actually dethroned Medvedev, the 25-year-old, world No. 2, marking the first time that the world top two players clashed in a Paris final since 1990.

Beating Medvedev was more than a sweet revenge for Djokovic.

For, in victory, Djokovic, 34, claiming a record-breaking 37th ATP Masters 1000 crown, avenged his 2021 US Open final loss to Medvedev.

That defeat in New York left more than an ugly blot on Djokovic’s resume: It deprived him of a second sweep of the Grand Slam that would have tied him for that mark with the legendary Rod Laver.

When Medvedev defeated Djokovic at Flushing Meadows, the Serbian was still licking his wounds following his failure to win the gold medal in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Going to Tokyo, Djokovic carried championship trophies from the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon.

Thus, victories in Tokyo 2020 and in the US Open would have given him a rare Calendar Slam of all five plums, a feat achieved only once—by Steffi Graf when the German won all four majors in 1988 and the Olympic gold medal in the Seoul Olympics that year.

After beating Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz 3-6, 6-0, 7-6 in the Paris semifinals, Djokovic said: “I am very proud... being historically No. 1 in the world is the paramount achievement of our sport.”

Djokovic capped his win over Medvedev with an emotional embrace of his children Stefan and Tara after match point, completing a dramatic rally from a set down for the 14th time this season to capture his sixth Bercy title.

It was also his fifth title for the year, making his seventh straight year as world No. 1—a record—in surpassing Pete Sampras.

“It’s a dream fulfilled as Pete was my idol when I was a young boy,” said Djokovic.

Will he ever stop dreaming?

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