Paris is a special town for Novak Djokovic.
It is the scene of perhaps his greatest triumph in pro tennis when he won the 2016 French Open to finally complete his career Grand Slam –and his “Novak Slam” where he held all four major titles at the same time, a feat that had not been achieved since 1969 by Rod Laver.
Since Djokovic reached his career height at Roland Garros in 2016, he struggled with injuries, burnout and off-court issues, but amazingly rebounded to the top of the game after his ranking dropped to No. 22 in May of this year. Now, Paris is the scene of another major career achievement for the Serbian maestro.
The Rolex Paris Masters event in Paris, the second-to-last ATP event of the year, marks the event where Djokovic returns to the No. 1 ranking, becoming the the first player to have his ranking move to No. 1 after being ranked outside of the top 20. Djokivic has won this prestigious indoor event four times – in 2009, 2013, 2014 and 2015 – and is trending upward in his return to the No. 1 ranking. Based on his current form, and storied history at the event, Djokovic is the clear tennis betting favorite to win a fifth Rolex Paris Masters title.
Roger Federer, who faces Djokovic in a blockbuster semifinal, will look to win for the second straight week after winning the title in his hometown of Basel, Switzerland the previous week. A win in Paris would mark his 100th career singles title, second to only Jimmy Connors and his 109 titles on the men’s all-time list. In 2011, Federer won his 70th career singles title in Paris, beating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the final.
While most eyes will be on Djokovic and Federer, the Rolex Paris Masters is the site of some unpredictable results and the other semifinalists in the top half, Dominic Thiem and Karen Khachanov, could also surprise. Last year at the event, Jack Sock of the United States captured the title beating another Serb, Filip Krajinovic, in the final.