Djokovic aims for third Paris title

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Published: Saturday 1st November 2014 by The News Editor

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World number one Novak Djovokic will be chasing a 600th career win when he meets hard-hitting Canadian Milos Raonic in the final of the BNP Paribas Masters in Paris on Sunday.

Djokovic needed only 62 minutes to win his Saturday semi-final against Japan’s Kei Nishikori 6-2 6-3 and put himself in line to claim a 20th career Masters title and his third in Paris.

The Serb showed little effects of his quarter-final win over Andy Murray but it was clearly a match too far for Nishikori who needed three sets to beat David Ferrer on Friday night and secure his place at the ATP World Tour Finals in London next week.

“I haven’t dropped a set getting into the final and I feel fresh and motivated to play well,” Djokovic told Sky Sports 3.

“I could see Kei wasn’t serving at his best and maybe that was down to injury or feeling fatigued after finishing late against Ferrer.

“Regardless of that I played well and concentrated on what I had to do.

“I served exceptionally well in important moments and that encourages me for the final.”

Djokovic, Paris Masters champion in 2009 and 2013, has now won 26 straight matches indoors and will start as the overwhelming favourite to collect his third title in this event.

But he admits to being impressed with Raonic, who followed up what he described as the best win of his career against Roger Federer in Friday’s quarter-final by beating Tomas Berdych 6-3 3-6 7-5 in the last four.

“He’s one of the best servers in the game, he’s been serving regularly 220-230ks first-serves and he hasn’t been missing too many,” Djokovic said of Raonic.

“His second serve is also bouncing very high and he has a very good movement for someone of his height, so he’s improved his baseline game and he’s a complete player now.

“He’s experiencing the best time of his career with back-to-back wins against Federer and Berdych and I’m sure he’s confident and motivated to win.”

Raonic sent down 12 aces to Berdych’s seven in a game which lasted two hours and eight minutes.

Berdych appeared as if he had taken control of proceedings in the final set but Raonic rallied to reach his second ATP World Tour Masters Final.

Raonic booked his place at the season-ending London tournament by upsetting Federer but insisted he was just as motivated for the challenge of playing his Czech opponent Berdych.

“I got a little fortunate at the end of the match,” Raonic said.

“I just kept focusing on my service games because that’s where my game starts from.

“I’m grateful that it worked out from there and I’ve got to keep pushing forward.

“There was a lot of motivation in wanting to make London and I didn’t want any let-down, so I was putting more pressure on myself to make sure the mental and physical energy and focus was there.

“I’m fortunate to have plenty of matches ahead of me now, for a while it didn’t look as if I would have that opportunity.

“I’ve been playing great and I made the most of this week.

“It’s about making that last and making every win as special as the one before it to try and go through all the way.”

Published: Saturday 1st November 2014 by The News Editor

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