Men's Tennis (ATP)
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Djokovic tops Ferrer for Paris Masters crown



Paris, France (SportsNetwork.com) - Novak Djokovic topped David Ferrer to win the Paris Masters title on Sunday and kept alive his slim hopes of earning the year-end No. 1 ranking.

Djokovic claimed a 7-5, 7-5 triumph in Sunday's final, winning each set in similar fashion to dethrone Ferrer, who won his first Masters crown at this event last year.

Ferrer was up a break and serving the for the first set at 5-4, but Djokovic broke and won the ensuing two games to steal the advantage. Ferrer then broke in the first game of the second set and held that edge until the 10th game, but was again broken at 5-4 and the Serb went on to capture the next two games.

"I am definitely playing the best tennis this year now," said Djokovic. "I'm playing on a very high level and have lots of confidence in myself, in my game."

Djokovic notched his sixth title of the year and his 16th career Masters crown. He also earned his 40th career title, joining Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal as the only active players to reach that milestone.

Ferrer, meanwhile, suffered his seventh straight loss in a final and his third in as many weeks. He also lost to Mikhail Youzhny last week in Valencia after falling to Grigor Dimitrov the previous weekend in Stockholm.

The Spaniard actually won his first two finals of the year, in Auckland and Buenos Aires, but has since lost title matches in Acapulco, Miami, Portugal and at the French Open before the three most recent setbacks.

"I am happy with my game, because the last few tournaments I (played well) and I am happy with myself," said Ferrer. "Now I want to relax and be with my team, and (Monday) I travel to London for the last tournament of the season."

Djokovic, who previously won this title in 2009, improved to 11-5 lifetime against Ferrer, including a dominating 6-2, 6-2, 6-1 rout in the Australian Open semifinals back in January.

Currently ranked second in the world, Djokovic can now wrestle the No. 1 ranking away from Nadal at next week's ATP World Tour Finals. The two are in opposite groups of the round-robin event.

"(Monday) I'm going to start thinking about London," Djokovic added. "Tonight, actually. Because on Tuesday night I play Federer already, a huge challenge for me."

Djokovic has now won 17 straight matches, including Davis Cup, since his last loss -- a four-set defeat at the hands of Nadal in the U.S. Open final. Nadal then supplanted Djokovic atop the rankings two weeks later, despite Djokovic's win over Nadal in the final of the China Open.

Ferrer, who beat Nadal in the semifinals on Saturday, fell to 20-22 all-time in finals, while Djokovic improved to 40-21.

Sunday's victory gave Djokovic a first prize of $715,000.

11/03 13:29:15 ET