Novak Djokovic is savouring his packed end-of-year schedule after clinching his third successive title with a 7-5 7-5 win over David Ferrer in the Paris Masters final on Sunday.
The Serb, who must retain his ATP World Tour Finals crown and win the Davis Cup to knock Spaniard Rafael Nadal off the top of the rankings, did not win a single title between the Monte Carlo Masters in April and last month’s China Open.
“I’m in a good spot at this moment. I enjoy tennis. I enjoy competing,” he said after succeeding Ferrer as indoor champion at Bercy.
“I am definitely playing the best tennis this year. Summer was up and down, and now again I’m playing on a very high level and have lots of confidence in myself, in my game.”
He's a great competitor, one of the most respected guys on tour because he works hard and he's very humble and he's a very nice person.
Successful season ends are becoming normal for Djokovic, who also triumphed in Beijing and Shanghai last year before claiming his first Tour Finals crown.
Djokovic, who relies heavily on his physical strength and defensive skills, was not disappointed to have no rest before being put under high pressure in London and in the Davis Cup final against Czech Republic in Belgrade.
“I have a right schedule, even though, you know, it’s going to be three weeks now in a row for me: Paris, London, and Davis Cup final,” he said.
“Physically it’s very demanding, but it’s not just me that is tired and has played many matches. All of the top players have had long seasons, and you just have to try to find the strength, find a way to recover.
“Every day really matters now for me to do things properly in order to play all the matches in a high level.”
Djokovic’s thrilling 7-5 7-5 win on Sunday was his 40th career title, while Ferrer fell short of becoming the first player to successfully defend the Paris crown.
“He is the defending champion, and obviously he enjoys playing on this surface in these conditions. I knew that coming into the match I’m going to have to work for my points,” said Djokovic of French Open finalist Ferrer.
“He is not going to give me too many free points. He’s going to run every ball. He’s a great competitor, one of the most respected guys on tour because he works hard and he’s very humble and he’s a very nice person.”
Ferrer grabbed the first break after a punishing rally at 30-40 was finally won by the Spaniard to go 2-1 up with a perfect drop shot that left Djokovic stranded at the back of the court.
Djokovic carved out his first break point of the match in the following game, but Ferrer held firm and built his resilience on his excellent first serve which was reaping him a winning percentage of 80 per cent.
With the Spaniard serving for the set at 5-4, Djokovic launched his assault and this time on break point he fired a forehand winner that grazed the line and pulled him back on level terms.
After serving out to love to go 6-5 up, the world number two seized his first set point when Ferrer hit long as the set swung surprisingly into Djokovic’s hands.
Ferrer shook off the disappointment of letting that first set slip from his grasp and broke to open the second set before a tough service hold gave him a 2-0 lead.
Ferrer had a glorious chance to grab a second break and go 4-2 up but failed to put away a net cord that floated up and was waiting to be buried only for a soft volley to be punished by Djokovic who went on to hold serve.
The set then went to serve before the defending champion again had a chance to close out at 5-4 only for Djokovic to break at the crucial moment to once again level the set.
In an exact repeat of the opening set, Ferrer cracked at the worst possible moment as Djokovic pounced on his opponent to tie the set before serving out for the title.
Djokovic now faces Swiss Roger Federer in his first round robin match in London on Tuesday.
He will also take on Argentine Juan Martin Del Potro and Frenchman Richard Gasquet in the group stage.