Lleyton Hewitt and David Ferrer were the two players to enter the prestigious 600-Win Club in 2014. With 599 wins so far, Novak Djokovic could be the third, if he defends his title on Sunday against Canadian Milos Raonic. On Saturday at the BNP Paribas Masters in the French capital, Djokovic extracted his revenge against Kei Nishikori for his loss in the US open semifinals against the Japanese, while Milos Raonic kept his blistering service working for him against Czech Republic’s Tomas Berdych in the other semifinal. Djokovic made short work of the fast-rising Japanese, losing just 5 games in a 62-minute semifinal but Raonic had to fight all the way against Berdych before overcoming the Czech in three sets. Like Djokovic, the USA’s Bryan twins will also be keen in defending their 2013 title at Paris, when they take on Marcin Matkowski of Poland and Jurgen Melzer of Austria in the championship matches on Sunday.
On Saturday, Novak Djokovic continued his superb 2014 run and needed just a shade over an hour in defeating Kei Nishikori 6-2, 6-3 to advance to the final of BNP Paribas Paris Masters. It was a powerful performance from the world no.1, who squared up with Japanese after being handed a semifinal loss less than two months ago at the US open. The Serb raced to an early 3-1 lead in the first set after breaking Nishikori. He broke the Japanese once again in the eighth game, where Nishikori couldn’t score a single point on his own serve and before the Japanese could blink, Djokovic pocketed the set in just 29 minutes. Nishikori made a comeback bid by breaking Djokovic midway through the second set but the Serb didn’t mind as he broke twice on either side of losing his own serve. The Serb kept up the pressure and produced 20 winners. His control on the game was evident as he claimed a large number of points, where he didn’t have to hit more than 5 shots in those games. In the final on Sunday, Djokovic will face Canada’s Milos Raonic, who defeated Czech Republic’s Tomas Berdych in the other semifinal. The victory for the Serb will not only help him defend his 2013 crown but it could be a landmark 600th win of his career. He will become the third player in 2014 to enter the 600-win club after the Australian Lleyton Hewitt and Spain’s David Ferrer.
In the other semifinal, Milos Raonic came up with another strong performance after causing the tournament’s biggest upset, when he defeated Roger Federer in the quarterfinals. It was the Canadian’s second ATP World Tour Masters 1000 final but Berdych didn’t give in easily. Fourth game of the first set saw a long 25-shot rally, which ended with Raonic breaking the Czech’s serve. After that he played powerfully to take the set 6-3 from Berdych. In the second set, however, Berdych bounced back and forced an early break, after which the set went 6-3 in the Czech’s favor. The third set was evenly fought and with Raonic’s service finding its mark and the Canadian won 90% of his points on his first serve. Berdych too kept holding his service and the match looked like going to the third-set tie-break. Suddenly, Berdych’s game crumbled as he made too many unforced errors in the crucial 12th game on his own serve. Two double faults from the Czech made it 15/30 and another two wayward errors allowed Raonic to emerge victor in a little over 2 hours with the scores reading 6-3, 3-6, 7-5.
In one of the doubles semifinal matches played on Saturday, Bob and Mike Bryan required only 54 minutes to win 6-3, 6-3 against Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau and set up a title clash with Marcin Matkowski and Jurgen Melzer. The defending champions are looking to record their fourth tournament victory at the Paris masters as they advanced to their 50th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 final. The twins have already claimed five Masters 1000 tournament in 2014 with victories in Indian Wells, Miami, Monte-Carlo, Cincinnati and Shanghai. Bryan twins’ opponents in Sunday’s final are the Polish/Austrian combo of Matkowski/Melzer, who have made their team debut at Paris Masters and have had a great run thus far. In Saturday’s other semifinal, Matkowski/Melzer scored a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez. Earlier, the Polish/Austrian combine knocked out fourth seed Ivan Dodig/Marcelo Melo in the second round and Rohan Bopanna/Daniel Nestor in the quarterfinals.
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