Denis Shapovalov falls to Novak Djokovic in Canadian's first Masters 1000 final


Denis Shapovalov was handed a spot in the Paris Masters final after Rafael Nadal withdrew with an unspecified injury. Novak Djokovic is the stronger player and he has an outstanding record against Denis Shapovalov. "Maybe he lost his focus a bit".

The highly anticipated clash between the two left-handers was called off when news broke that Nadal had injured himself in his warm-up and would be unable to compete against Shapovalov, who yesterday produced a magnificent display to dismiss Gael Monfils in the quarter-finals.

"The best things are yet to come for you", he said to Shapovalov.

Sunday's final against another member of the "Big Three" in Djokovic, will be the first-ever Masters 1000 final of Shapovalov's career.

Shapovalov defeated higher-ranked opponents in three straight matches to reach the semifinals of the tournament, including an upset over No. 6 Alexander Zverev in the round of 16.

The comfortable opening set for the world number one was wrapped up at the first time of asking with a forehand volley after just 28 minutes on court.

Twenty-times Grand Slam champion Roger Federer skipped the event to be fresh for the season-ender at the O2.

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The Canadian will face Novak Djokovic in the final, where he'll look to overturn an 0-3 record against the top-ranked Serb. He's won an average of just over 38% of points in the matches, with a woeful 24% of return points won unsurprisingly meaning that he's broken Djokovic in fewer than 10% of return games.

Sunday's victory gave Djokovic his 77th career ATP title, tying John McEnroe for fifth all-time.

Dropping only four points on his serve in the first set, Djokovic clinched it with another dominant serving game which included two aces and concluded with a volleyed forehand victor at the net. It was also his 34th Masters 1000 titles, one back of Rafael Nadal.

Shapovalov was up against it right from the start of the second set, saving a break point with an ace.

"It is a motivation and a goal every day", said Djokovic.

"And so I'm trying to remind myself of how precious these moments are and these trophies when I find myself in different life circumstances".

Nadal said he will fight until it is "impossible" to be fit for the start of the season-ending championships on November 10. "In terms of points, that puts me in a better position after this week".