“Ran out of steam”: Tennis icon Novak Djokovic opens up about health issues after hard-fought Paris Masters win

The 2023 Rolex Paris Masters has had some of the most shocking eliminations in its history. First, Carlos Alcaraz was beaten by qualifier Roman Safiullin in the opening rounds, and then Daniil Medvedev suffered a horrific booing defeat to Grigor Dimitrov, six days after defeating Dimitrov in the Vienna Open.

It looked as though the top 3 in the ATP Live ranking would be eliminated after Novak Djokovic lost the first set to Tollan Griekspoor. But the experienced and organized Djokovic, even with a stomach upset, fought hard to win the final eight points to advance to the quarterfinals.

Djokovic overcomes illness in Paris Masters triumph

Novak Djokovic, who surpassed Steffi Graf’s (all-gender) record of 377 weeks as world no. 1, is now 397 weeks as no. 1 and set to make it 400 weeks by December. The Serbian battled hard to win Tollan Griekspoor 4-6, 7-6(2), 6-4 in a tightly contested round of 16 match at the Rolex Paris Masters. However, after the game, Djokovic revealed that he struggled with stomach upset during the game and hailed Griekspoor for his amazing effort.

“I don’t want to take anything away from his performance. He didn’t drop the level,” the Serbian said. “Maybe in the third set a few games he did a bit, but he was playing at a very high level and credit to him for that performance. If he would be the winner tonight, it would be absolutely deserved. 

“I started off well but I ran out of steam. I’ve been struggling the last couple of days with my stomach and I just didn’t feel myself at all. I was just trying to hold my serve and get to a tie-break, which happened in the second. I got lucky on a couple of shots there. It could have easily gone his way, but overall I played a good tie-break and I started to feel better in the third. I’m really, really glad to overcome this challenge,” Djokovic added.

The Serbian star is set to face Dane Holger Rune in the quarterfinals, a clash that would be a repeat of the 2022 Paris Masters, in which Rune surprisingly defeated Djokovic.

Novak Djokovic extends his winning streak to 15

Novak Djokovic’s victory against Tollan Griekspoor extended his winning streak to 15 matches since he last lost at the Wimbledon Final to Carlos Alcaraz. The anticipated victory at the Paris Masters has kept Djokovic on course for his record-extending seventh Paris singles title by reaching his 11th quarterfinal at the ATP Masters 1000.

Griekspoor had produced a startling performance to lead 6-4 in the first set, stunning the world no. 1 with his brilliant serving performance, including a run of 10 consecutive points.

The Dutch joy didn’t last long as Djokovic held firm with two big serves to erase break chances at 4-4 in the second set before taking the game to a tie-break with a near-flawless display to regain control of the game. Djokovic is now 27-5 in tie breaks, according to ATP Infosys Stats, the best record on the ATP Tour.

Tollan Griekspoor, 27, moved from no. 23 to 21 in this week’s ATP Live ranking, even with only an ATP career title. While Novak Djokovic is eyeing his 40th ATP Masters title before heading for the Nitto ATP Finals in Turin,

Victor Okechukwu

219 articles


Leave a Comment