Paris Masters champion Novak Djokovic is braced for a triple quickfire challenge of winning the ATP World Tour Finals, the Davis Cup and finishing the year as world No.
The 26-year-old produced some of his best tennis to beat Spain’s David Ferrer 7-5 7-5 in Sunday’s Paris final, winning his third straight ATP title and extending his winning streak to 17 matches.
Djokovic claimed his 40th title in his eighth final of the year during which he won more than 60 matches to be back on Rafael Nadal’s heels to reclaim the top ranking.
He became just the 15th player to reach the 40-title milestone.
“I am definitely playing the best tennis this year, including the start of the year with the Australian Open and Dubai that I had a great run.
“You know, summer was up and down, and now again I’m playing on a very high level and have lots of confidence in myself, in my game,” said Djokovic, after wins in Dubai, Monte Carlo, Beijing and Shanghai and reaching the Wimbledon and US Open finals.
“You know, physically it’s very demanding, but it’s not just me that is tired and has played many matches. All of the top players have had long seasons, and you just have to try to find the strength, find a way to recuperate, recover.”
Djokovic paid tribute to Ferrer for his attitude.
“He is the defending champion, and obviously he enjoys playing on this surface in these conditions. I knew that coming into the match I’m going to have to work for my points.
“He’s a great competitor, one of the most respected guys on tour because he works hard and he’s very humble and he’s a very nice person.
“The opening four or five games … he was a better player. He was … running me around the court.”
Ferrer was dignified in defeat after missing a second Masters title after winning Paris last year.
“With 5-5 in the second, I didn’t serve so good. With Nole, if I don’t take the chances, it’s impossible to beat him.”
“With Nole (Djokovic) or Rafa (Nadal) or Roger (Federer) or Andy Murray, I don’t have these breaks, not in important moments.”
Six-time grand slam winner Djokovic is pooled with Federer, Juan Martin del Potro and Richard Gasquet at the London World Tour Finals, but has only 48 hours to recover before his opener against the Swiss.
Djokovic, who reached three grand slam finals in the same year for the third straight season, has London on his mind but also the Davis Cup final against the Czech Republic and the world No.1 spot which Nadal took back last month.
“I’m at the good spot at this moment. I enjoy tennis. I enjoy competing. I have a right schedule, even though, you know, it’s going to be three weeks now in a row for me: Paris, London and the Davis Cup final.”