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Djokovic beats Tsitsipas again, faces Rune in Paris final

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PARIS — Novak Djokovic has beaten Stefanos Tsitsipas for the eighth consecutive time, outscoring 6-2, 3-6, 7-6 (4) in a spectacular semi-final to stay on track for a record seventh Paris Masters title.

The 21-time Grand Slam champion will then take on unseeded Danish teenager Holger Rune, who has never made it to a Masters final.

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Tsitsipas trailed 15-40 on his serve in the ninth game of the deciding set, but saved two break points – the second with a superb one-handed backhand after a long play – to keep the score 5-4.

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“Incredible scores towards the end,” Djokovic said. “I’m just really excited to get through this ordeal.”

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The sixth seed Djokovic went 4-3 down in the tiebreak but won the next two points to go 5-4 up to go 5-seeded with two innings against the fifth seed Greek.

After a weak second serve, he used a great defense to win the play when Tsitsipas landed a right into the net, earning Djokovic his first match point. He took it, hitting the net, put his finger to his ear and shouted: “Come on!” crowd at the Bercy Arena.

“It’s really nice when you win these matches against one of the best players in the world,” said Djokovic. “I think I started the match very well, again, great shots like yesterday. I had chances at the beginning of the second. The momentum changed, the crowd got into it. I think he raised his level of tennis.”

Djokovic is also aiming for a record 39th Masters title, fifth title this season and 91st career title, to lag behind 22-time major tournament winner Rafael Nadal.

Djokovic improved to 9-2 against Tsitsipas, who won two of his first three but hasn’t beaten Djokovic since the quarter-finals of the Shanghai Masters in October 2019.

An inspired Rune defeated the eighth seed Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-4, 6-2 to stay on track for the biggest title of his career.

Rune, who has won both titles in his career this year, has reached his fourth season final in a row.

Competing in his first Masters semi-final, he scored 86% on the first serve and received no break points.

“It was an incredible match for me today. I really stuck to the plan for the whole match and used every chance I had,” said Rune. “Putting pressure on Felix was my game plan and I managed to do it almost perfectly. I’m very proud of how I handled everything.”

He ended Auger-Aliassime’s 16-match winning streak and ended the 22-year-old Canadian’s bid for a fourth title in a row.

Auger-Aliassime beat Rune in the Swiss Indoors final.

Djokovic beats Tsitsipas again and will face Rune in Paris final originally appeared on NBCSports.com



Source: sports.yahoo.com

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