Novak Djokovic takes on a Canadian youngster and rising star, 20-year-old Denis Shapovalov, in the Paris Masters final on Sunday at 3 pm local/2 pm GMT.

Besides fighting for his fifth Paris Masters, Djokovic is looking to keep his chances of finishing the year as world number 1. The question is, can the young Canadian do anything to stop in-form Djokovic?

Djokovic held the world number 1 spot for exactly one calendar year.

And no matter what he does today, the Serb is going to have to surrender the top ATP on ranking to Rafael Nadal on Monday. But the victory against Shapovalov today will surely narrow the gap between him and the Spaniard to only 640 points ahead of the Nitto ATP World Tour Finals, keeping Novak’s chances of finishing as the world number 1 very much alive.

Rafael Nadal could have been the one to end Djokovic’s hopes this week if he won the ever-elusive Paris Masters title.

But he retired from his semi-final match against Shapovalov due to an abdominal injury sustained in training session, thus giving the Canadian a free pass to his first-ever Masters 1000 Series final, putting World Tour Final in jeopardy, and giving Novak a big advantage in their clash to finish the year as the world no. 1.

Novak Djokovic was at the top of his game against Dimitrov

Novak Djokovic is undoubtedly in a top form this week in Paris, and he proved just that with his Saturday’s 7-6(5), 6-4 win over the Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov.

He was an absolute favorite ahead of his match against the Bulgarian, having beaten Moutet, Edmund, and Tsitsipas. But Djokovic’s statement about him fighting a virus this week did raise some concerns ahead of his semi-final clash.

Dimitrov was putting up a pretty decent fight especially in the first set, at times it even seemed as though he was the one who had the edge. Djokovic definitely needed to go the extra mile in order to win a match in straight sets.

But after he won the first set in a tie-break, the second set seemed more like a formality for a confident Djokovic. He broke the Bulgarian in the fifth game and never surrendered that advantage to finish the match in style, and securing the spot in the Paris Masters final for the sixth time.

This is also the second year in a row for Djokovic that he will be facing first-time Masters 1000 Series finalists in the final. Last year, Djokovic lost to Khachanov rather surprisingly, and now he takes on yet another next-gen player, Denis Shapovalov.

Does Shapovalov have the chance against Djokovic?

He only recently clinched his maiden title in Stockholm after beating Yuichi Sugita. Before that, he didn’t even make it to the final on any level on the ATP tour. This week in Paris, his run has been nothing short of amazing. He beat Gilles Simon albeit by retirement, then managed to win against Fognini and Zverev in three sets, before absolutely crashing Gael Monfils in what was arguably his best performance of the season.

Despite his great run, standing at 0-3 head-to-head against Djokovic, it’s highly unlikely that Shapovalov will win on Sunday.

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