Fixture: (1) Novak Djokovic vs Grigor Dimitrov
Date: November 5, 2023
Match Timing: Not before 3:00 pm local time, 9 am ET, 6:30 pm IST, 1 pm GMT.
Tournament: Paris Masters 2023
Venue: Accor Arena, Paris, France
Category: ATP Masters 1000
Surface: Hard (Indoor)
Prize money: €5,779,335
Live telecast: USA – Tennis Channel | Canada – TSN | UK – Amazon Prime
Novak Djokovic vs Grigor Dimitrov preview
Top seed Novak Djokovic will take on Grigor Dimitrov in the final of the Paris Masters on Sunday.
The Serb received a bye to the second round of the tournament due to his seeding and started with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Tomas Martin Etcheverry. He then came back from a set down to beat Tallon Griekspoor 4-6, 7-6(2), 6-4 and reach the quarterfinals.
Here, the Serb faced sixth seed Holger Rune in a rematch of last year’s final and won 7-5, 6-7(3), 6-4 to set up a semifinal clash against fifth seed Andrey Rublev. Djokovic found himself a set down but fought hard to take the second set via a tiebreak to force the match into a decider. The 36-year-old broke in the final game of the match to take the final set 7-5 to reach his ninth final at the Paris Masters.
Dimitrov faced Lorenzo Musetti in the first round and won 6-2, 6-7(4), 6-3 to set up a second-round clash against third seed Daniil Medvedev. The Bulgarian caused a major upset by defeating the Russian 6-3, 6-7(4), 7-6(2) before beating Alexander Bublik 6-2, 6-2 to reach the quarterfinals.
Here, he faced 11th seed Hubert Hurkacz and won 6-1, 4-6, 6-4 to set up a semifinal clash with seventh seed Stefanos Tsitsipas. Dimitrov got off to a good start and won the opening set 6-3 before the Greek took the second set via a tiebreak to force the match into a decider.
The final set saw both players being very strong on their serve and another tiebreak ensued. Dimitrov won it 7-3 to reach his first Masters 1000 final since 2017.
Novak Djokovic vs Grigor Dimitrov head-to-head
Djokovic leads 11-1 in the head-to-head between the two. Their last meeting came in the third round of this season’s Italian Open, with the Serb winning 6-3, 4-6, 6-1.
Novak Djokovic vs Grigor Dimitrov odds
All odds are sourced from BETMGM.
Novak Djokovic vs Grigor Dimitrov prediction
Djokovic will enter the match as the overwhelming favorite to win, considering his current run of form and head-to-head against Dimitrov. However, given the Bulgarian’s performances along with the fact that the Serb lost the previous two finals when he faced an unseeded opponent (2018 and 2022), he should not be written off.
Djokovic has won 174 out of 224 points (77.75) so far on his first serve in Paris, with 42 aces to his name. However, he has also served 19 double faults and will have to be careful not to serve too many of those in the final. The Serb has also hit 123 winners compared to 57 unforced errors.
Djokovic’s game has always been a force to reckon with and has dismantled several players. However, his mentality, which has been a talking point for a while now, has often seen him get out of tense matches and dismantle his opponents psychologically.
Dimitrov has won 218 out of 287 (75.9%) points so far on his first serve at the Paris Masters, serving 32 aces. The Bulgarian has hit 161 winners, which is much higher than a relatively paltry 47 unforced errors.
Dimitrov, on his day, can trouble even the best of players and he has had his days so far in Paris. However, the Bulgarian will have to show mental composure as he has never shown before in his career if he is to get the better of the World No. 1 in a Masters 1000 final.
The Serb has played three successive three-setters but despite his age, he has shown absolutely zero signs of slowing down. However, he mentioned earlier that he was playing with stomach problems, so if, by some chance, he is not at his healthiest or decides to conserve his energy before the ATP Finals, and Dimitrov shows full composure, the Bulgarian might manage to come out on top.
Prediction: Dimitrov to win in three sets.