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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Tuesday November 2, 2021

 
Djokovic Indian Wells

World No.1 Novak Djokovic played his first ATP match since the US Open, winning in three sets in Paris.

Photo Source: Getty
 

Novak Djokovic made his long awaited return to the ATP Tour a victorious one on Tuesday at the Rolex Paris Masters, defeating Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics, 6-2, 4-6, 6-3, to book a round of 16 spot.

Tennis Express

The five-time Paris champion had to battle hard against the World No.40, but eventually overcame a mid-match lull to rally past his rival in two hours. It was a tricky encounter for Djokovic, who took the first set easily but was broken in the third game of the second set and never recovered.

Fucsovics did a great job of front-running against the world’s best returner, winning 21 of 26 first-serve points in the set and saving the only break point he faced.

Djokovic picked up the intensity in the third set and reeled off 10 consecutive points to get from 1-1, 0-30 to 3-1, but Fucsovics kept hammering away and broke back for 3-2 to keep things interesting.

But it was Djokovic who surged to the finish, winning three of the last four games to lock up a record 38th career victory in Paris.


Eyes on the Year-End No.1 Ranking

Djokovic is closing in on another laudable milestone this week in Paris, and he does hold his fate in his own hands. If the Serb can claim his sixth career title in Paris he would also lock up the ATP’s year-end No.1 ranking for a record seventh time. That would push Djokovic past his idol Pete Sampras, but Daniil Medvedev is still in the running – Djokovic can also clinch the year-end No.1 if he reaches the final and Medvedev doesn’t win the tournament, or if Medvedev fails to reach the quarterfinals.

The Serb, who is enjoying his record 345th week atop the ATP’s singles rankings, will face either Adrian Mannarino or Gael Monfils on Thursday in Bercy.

 

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