PARIS (AP) — Novak Djokovic beat defending champion David Ferrer 7-5, 7-5 Sunday to win the Paris Masters for his 17th straight match victory and sixth title of the season.
The second-seeded Serb still has a slim chance to finish the season ranked ahead of No. 1 Rafael Nadal. Djokovic improved to 11-5 against Ferrer, who was looking to become the first player to win back-to-back Paris Masters titles.
"Summer was up and down," Djokovic said, "and now again I'm playing on a very high level and have lots of confidence in myself, in my game. I'm at a good spot at this moment." Djokovic won the last four games in each set, rallying each time from a 5-3 deficit. Djokovic clinched the victory when the Spaniard sent a forehand into the net. Djokovic hit 34 winners to 15 for Ferrer and won 15 of 18 net points.
"With Nole, if I don't take my chance, it's impossible to beat him," Ferrer said. "In the important moments he's better than me." Ferrer troubled Djokovic early in the match with his deep groundstrokes and hit a backhand drop shot to break for a 3-2 lead. But Djokovic started playing more aggressively and broke back in the 10th game with a forehand winner down the line.
The Serb went a set up when Ferrer's forehand sailed long. Djokovic, however, dropped serve in the opening game of the second set and then needed to hit two straight forehand winners to save two break points at 2-0.
Despite numerous backhand errors, Djokovic kept the pressure on Ferrer, who again failed to serve out the set at 5-4. Djokovic capitalized on a long forehand from the Spaniard to break back before hitting an ace for a 6-5 lead.
Djokovic improved to 11-5 against Ferrer, who was looking to become the first player to win back-to-back Paris Masters titles. Nadal unseated Djokovic atop the rankings by reaching the final of the China Open last month. The Spaniard had the longest winning streak this year with 22 victories in a row from April to June and also from August to October.