October/November ATP Tennis Review
By A. Balaji
These past two months have been action packed in the tennis world as the ATP calendar was filled with ATP 250’s to ATP 1000’s. The two main tournaments took place in Basel and Paris where two of the world’s best tennis players reaffirmed their dominance. In the Swiss indoors ATP 500, it was the current champion, Roger Federer, who claimed the title for an impressive tenth time; becoming the first player to win 10 or more titles on two different types of courts. While in the Paris Masters 1000, it was Novack Djokovic who finally won, after being runners up last year, becoming the player to win the most master's 1000 tournaments in the decade.
Roger Federer won his 10th Swiss Indoors Basel title on Sunday, entering double digits at a tournament for only the second time by racing past #NextGenATP Aussie Alex de Minaur 6-2, 6-2. Switzerland’s most prestigious sporting event took place from the 21st to the 27th of October and witnessed a fantastic week of tennis. Although top ranked, Federer face some tough challenges in his title defense. The former ball boy faced the likes of Stefanos Tsitsipas in the quarter finals and Stanislas Wawrinka (who unfortunately retired before the game). However, alike previous years, Federer felt at home as he steamed past all opponents without dropping a single set. The Fed – express ran at full steam as he played aggressively throughout the whole week. The final was another demonstration of Federer’s dominance during the week. The 38-year-old, playing in front of a fervent home crowd, played attacking tennis against the speedy 20-year-old, who was going for his fourth title of the season (3-1). Federer broke the young Australian 4 times by mixing around the pace and keep De Minaur on the move. The now 10-time champions backhand was also on song, producing five clean winners, many of them passing shots when De Minaur had come forward. The forehand was also sublime, working the angles perfectly and getting the points all on his terms. Federer’s emotional connection with the tournament was proven when he broke down into tears during his champion’s speech. The former ball boy remembered his roots in Basel and how much it meant to him to be winning in his hometown.
Two weeks later it was Novak Djokovic's turn to win his 5th Paris ATP 1000 masters title. The Serbian beat #NextGenATP Canadian Denis Shapovalov 6-3, 6-4 at the Rolex Paris Masters to clinch his 34th Masters 1000 title. The No 1 ranked was no match for the promising Canadian talent, as Novak brushed him aside to get even closer to finishing the year as No 1. With this win, the Serbian is merely 675 points away from Nadal, heading into the Nitto ATP finals, with a chance of ending the year as No 1 for a record 6th time. In fine form, Shapovalov found it tough to pose any sort of challenge as Novak took advantage of his nervy start to make a quick finish. Djokovic climbed to within one of Nadal's all-time master's 1000 titles lead and also tied John McEnroe on the all-time titles list with his 77th tour-level crown. He is now tied with Thiem with the most titles won in the 2019 season (5). Novak was hitting his spots on serve, preventing the young star from threatening him at all during his service game. Nevertheless, Shapovalov has been on fire recently, after winning his first ATP Tour title at the Intrum Stockholm Open last month and making his first Masters 1000 final in Paris. The Serbian will now have to work hard if he wants to dethrone Nadal from the No 1 spot by the end of the year.
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