Top seed Novak Djokovic claimed a record-extending seventh Paris Masters title on Sunday with a business-like 6-4, 6-3 demolition of Grigor Dimitrov.
Eight days after watching South Africa beat New Zealand at the Stade de France to lift the rugby union World Cup for a record fourth time, Djokovic was himself burnishing legends.
It was a record-extending 40th title at a Masters tournaments – considered the most prestigious on the international circuit after the Grand Slam events.
“Incredible. To be able to win it after quite challenging circumstances for me this week,” said Djokovic, who was hampered by a stomach virus in Paris.
“Basically, coming back from the brink of losing three matches in a row, on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
"I was very close to losing those matches and somehow managed to find an extra gear when it was needed.”
For all those three-set travails, Djokovic entered centre court at the Accor Arena with success seemingly embedded into his brushes with the 32-year-old Bulgarian.
He had won 11 of their 12 meetings going back 11 years on the ATP circuit.
And the 36-year-old Serb drew first blood in the seventh game of the first set following the first break point of the match when a Dimitrov forehand went long.
That animated the capacity crowd who had been given little in the way of pyrotechnics during the previous 33 minutes.
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