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Djokovic wins superb Paris final

Novak Djokovic
Djokovic heads to the ATP World Tour Finals as the man to beat

World number three Novak Djokovic survived a stunning fightback from Frenchman Gael Monfils to claim victory at the Paris Masters 6-2 5-7 7-6 (7-3).

The Serb broke twice to win the first set and then raced into a 3-0 lead in the second with some flawless tennis.

But home favourite Monfils showed great spirit to hit back and when he levelled at one-set each the crowd came alive.

They traded breaks in the decider and it took a tie-break to separate them as Djokovic eventually won it 7-3.

The title is Djokovic's fifth of the year and continues a brilliant recent run which also saw him win the Swiss Indoor final against Roger Federer last week.

"It was incredibly tough," said the 22-year-old. "Winning back-to-back titles at this level is a huge achievement for me, and adding to that, beating the world number one and number two.

"I really feel that I'm in great form right now.

I had the feeling I was playing against a cyborg

Gael Monfils

"The support of the crowd was probably one of the crucial things of today's match in his favour, so that makes my success even bigger."

Monfils can take heart from a gutsy performance in his first Masters final and he caused Djokovic - who thrashed Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals on Saturday - all kinds of problems.

The Paris-born world number 16 struggled in the early stages and was broken in only his second service game.

Despite having the advantage of the partisan home crowd, the 15th seed could find no answer and Djokovic took the opening set when Monfils doubled faulted on set point.

A flying Djokovic raced into an early lead in the second set before suddenly Monfils hit back, holding a tricky service game before breaking back to send the crowd into raptures.

Rafael & Fabio

When Monfils held it was 3-3 and it looked like going to a tie-breaker, until Monfils broke the Djokovic serve at 6-5 to get the crowd off their feet and he then held to stun the Serb and take it to a deciding set.

Djokovic once again got off to a flier and after a stunning rally that had both players gasping for breath he broke to lead 2-0 and then 4-1, but Monfils would not go away and he showed amazing resilience to peg it back to 4-4.

It went to a tie-break and Djokovic held his nerve to deny Monfils victory on his home turf.

"I had the feeling I was playing against a cyborg," Monfils said of the early stages.

"I didn't find any solution in the beginning, I was playing too defensive. But I didn't lose faith in my chances and I almost overturned the match."

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see also
Djokovic and Monfils reach final
14 Nov 09 |  Tennis
Nadal ends Tsonga's London hopes
13 Nov 09 |  Tennis
Stepanek knocks out tired Murray
12 Nov 09 |  Tennis
Davydenko books World Finals spot
12 Nov 09 |  Tennis
Benneteau stuns Federer in Paris
11 Nov 09 |  Tennis
Murray survives late-night battle
12 Nov 09 |  Tennis
Safin bows out with loss in Paris
11 Nov 09 |  Tennis

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