Record No.1 finish at stake as Djokovic begins Paris Masters campaign
"The year-end No. 1 is on the line between Medvedev and myself, and I'm in a pretty good position," Djokovic was quoted as saying by atptour.com
Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic would be aiming to clinch his seventh year-end No. 1 finish in the ATP Rankings -- which would break his tie with American great Pete Sampras for the most year-end No. 1 finishes in history -- when he makes a long-awaited return to the Rolex Paris Masters beginning later on Monday.
The five-time Paris Open champion will be playing in his first competition since losing the US Open final to Russian Daniil Medvedev, who denied the world No.1 the opportunity to clinch his 21st major title and break the tie with Spain's Rafael Nadal and Swiss master Roger Federer, who also have 20 major titles apiece.
"The year-end No. 1 is on the line between Medvedev and myself, and I'm in a pretty good position," Djokovic was quoted as saying by atptour.com on Sunday evening.
"That's obviously the goal for the end of the season other than trying to do well in the Davis Cup with the national team. So, hopefully I can have a strong finish of the season and clinch that year-end No. 1."
Among the various scenarios where the Serbian can finish No. 1 on the ATP rankings this year is if he wins the Paris title, regardless of Medvedev's Paris finish or if he reaches the Paris final and Medvedev does not win the title.
However, Djokovic can draw inspiration from the fact that he has won in Paris five times. Also, in his past six appearances here, Djokovic has won the title four times, made another final and also reached the quarterfinals.
"I'm pleased to be back. I have been training really well (the) past couple of weeks. And I have had plenty of success in Paris-Bercy over the years, so that gives me enough reason to believe that I can do well, and I can go far in the tournament," said Djokovic.
"Having said that, the lack of match play could be dangerous, so I have to really make sure that I start off my first match very well with a good intensity and build my form as that match passes on and hopefully get a win and get myself more comfortable on this court and just getting that match play in."
The 36-time ATP Masters 1000 winner will begin his campaign against Italian Fabio Fognini, who he has beaten eight times, or Hungarian Marton Fucsovics (3-0).
"I have learned over the years to deal with losses in such way (US Open lost to Medvedev) that I treat them as great opportunities for growth. I feel that the US Open loss in the final has arrived arguably at the worst or at the best time for me, in a way," Djokovic said.
"Of course I'm disappointed that I lost the match, but I feel like I was blessed to experience love from the crowd and support from the stadium that I have never experienced before in my life in New York, and actually not in many places around the world," added Djokovic.
Scenarios where Djokovic can finish the year as No. 1 on the ATP Rankings:
1. Djokovic wins Paris title (regardless of Medvedev's Paris finish)
2. Djokovic reaches Paris final + Medvedev does not win Paris title
3. Djokovic reaches Paris SF + Medvedev does not reach Paris final
4. Djokovic reaches Paris QF + Medvedev does not reach Paris SF
5. Djokovic reaches Paris 3R + Medvedev does not reach Paris SF
6. Medvedev does not reach Paris QF (regardless of Djokovic's Paris finish)