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Novak Djokovic Clinches 40th Career Title In Bercy

Paris, France

World No. 2 Novak Djokovic joined elite company on Sunday, becoming the 15th player in the Open Era to win 40 ATP World Tour titles. 

Djokovic denied David Ferrer in his bid to retain his BNP Paribas Masters crown, ousting the Spaniard 7-5, 7-5 in one hour and 52 minutes to hoist his second trophy in Paris-Bercy. The victory gave him his 200th match win at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 level as well.

Djokovic is just the third active player to enter the 40-title club, along with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. It was the Serb’s sixth crown of the year and 16th Masters 1000 title. He was victorious at the Australian Open as well as in Dubai, Monte-Carlo, Beijing and Shanghai in 2013.

"I am definitely playing the best tennis this year now," Djokovic said. "I'm playing on a very high level and have lots of confidence in myself, in my game."

The 2009 Paris champion kept alive his slim hopes of finishing year-end World No. 1 for a third consecutive year as well. He will seek to wrestle the mantle from top-ranked Rafael Nadal at the upcoming Barclays ATP World Tour Finals

The Belgrade native receives €522,100 and 1000 Emirates ATP Ranking points, improving his winning streak to 17 straight since the US Open and 2013 match record to 67-9. 

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"Well, he is the defending champion, and obviously he enjoys playing on this surface in these conditions," Djokovic said of Ferrer. "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."

Ferrer burst out of the gates, sending deep penetrating forehands and not allowing Djokovic to dictate from the baseline. A purely sublime drop shot would punctuate a 36-shot rally, the longest of the tournament, and give Ferrer the opening break of the match for 3-2. The Spaniard’s agility and grinding style gave Djokovic problems from the onset and a consistent and aggressive serving display put the Serb on his heels. 

When Ferrer served for the set at 5-4, however, Djokovic discovered firepower of his own, weathering the storm and countering his acute angles with bruising groundstrokes to break back. As the tables turned, Djokovic ramped up his intensity, reeling off four straight games to snatch the opening set 7-5.

The steely Spaniard remained composed, opening the second set with a 0/40 look at Djokovic’s serve and capitalising on his second break point. A mirror image of the first set, they would remain on serve until 5-4 when Djokovic found a second gear yet again, breaking to level at 5-all and cruising from there. Despite being victimised by 11 unforced errors on his preferred backhand wing in the set, he would win four games in a row to close it out. 

Djokovic claimed victory on his second match point when Ferrer netted a forehand. He hit 34 winners to Ferrer’s 15, winning 78 per cent of points on his first serve. 

DjokovicFor Ferrer, the World No. 3 had his nine-match winning streak at the Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy snapped, dropping a seventh consecutive ATP World Tour final after triumphing in Auckland and Buenos Aires to open the year. The Spaniard is the seventh player to reach both Paris finals, in Roland Garros and Bercy, in the same year. He was looking to become the first player to win back-to-back titles in the history of the BNP Paribas Masters. Ferrer receives €256,000 and 600 Emirates ATP Ranking points with the result. 

"I think it was a really good match, really good rallies," said Ferrer. "I play maybe better than yesterday, and I lost.

"I am happy with my game, because the last few tournaments I [played well] and I am happy with myself. Now I want to relax and be with my team, and tomorrow I travel to London for the last tournament of the season."

Djokovic improved his FedEx ATP Head2Head mark against Ferrer to 11-5, capturing seven of the previous eight meetings since 2009. The World No. 2 is 10-2 on hard courts in the rivalry, having dominated their most recent meeting, 6-2, 6-2, 6-1 in the semi-finals of the Australian Open earlier this year.

Djokovic and Ferrer will immediately head to London to conclude their 2013 ATP World Tour campaigns, at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. The Serb is the defending champion and will be making his seventh appearance at the season finale, while his Spanish counterpart was the runner-up in 2007 and is heading to season finale for the fifth time. Rematches of the Paris semi-finals, Djokovic opens with Roger Federer to begin round robin play on Tuesday and Ferrer tangles with Rafael Nadal.

"From tomorrow I'm going to start thinking about London," Djokovic said. "From tonight, actually. Because on Tuesday night I play Federer already, a huge challenge for me."

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