Djokovic on top of the world after Paris win and fatherhood
PARIS - Agence France-Presse
Serbia's Novak Djokovic poses with the trophy after winning the final match against Canada's Milos Raonic at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 indoor tennis tournament on November 2, 2014 at the Bercy Palais-Omnisport (POPB) in Paris. AFP PhotoIt's been quite a year for Novak Djokovic, who is driving towards another year-ending number one spot, recently becoming a proud father and winning his third Paris Masters crown for his 600th ATP victory.
The popular 27-year-old Serb said at the beginning of last week that becoming a dad had already made him feel like number one, but he is also doing his talking on the court, breezing through an elite field in the French capital without dropping a set.
His 6-2, 6-3 victory over big-serving Canadian Milos Raonic on Sunday emphasised his dominance in world tennis, but there is still one tournament to go at the season-ending World Tour Finals in London.
His lead over Roger Federer in the ATP rankings is now 1,310 points with up to a possible 1,500 available to the winner in London.
Federer can also pick up a small amount of points when he plays the Davis Cup final for Switzerland against France in Lille but it might be too late by then with Djokovic the man to beat heading to London.
"Two successive titles in London in the last two years gives me reason to believe that I can do well," said Djokovic after his 27th consecutive indoor victory and becoming the first man to successfully defend the title at Bercy.
"Even this year I will have a week off to recharge my batteries, recover a little bit, spend some time with family, and get on the court.
"I'm excited to be there because I think it's one of the most spectacular tennis venues that we have," continued Djokovic who has spent 118 weeks at number one during his career, the seventh highest total ever.
"Also because of Wimbledon and the long history (of tennis in London), so I look forward to that." The other players to qualify are Federer, Stan Wawrinka, Andy Murray, Kei Nishikori, Tomas Berdych, Marin Cilic and Raonic.
The players are split into two pools of four with a round-robin format determining two semi-finalists from each group.
Djokovic says he is prepared for whatever the draw throws up in terms of opponents.
"It's the best eight players in the world in the whole year, so there are not many preferences to be honest.
"But it definitely encourages me the fact that I have played so well this week and that I have won the four last indoor tournaments in the last two years that I've played in.
"Apart from the outdoor hard courts that was my most successful and most preferable surface, and now I guess it's an indoor court.
"I do feel very comfortable playing, returning, serving in these conditions."
The Belgrade native also paid tribute to 17-time Grand Slam winner Federer's fine season that has seen the Swiss win more matches than anyone on Tour as he rose back to world number two.
"He is one of the top contenders to win all the major titles and to compete for the top spot," continued Djokovic.
"Obviously he got used to the racquet change and I think he's swinging through the backhand shot much better now. He improved his game a lot since last year.
"I think maybe he's playing some of the best tennis of his career, in my opinion, and I don't think age really matters in his case.
"But every match that I play, every match that I play and win, gets me closer to holding number one at the end of the year."