Novak Djokovic kept alive his slim hopes of finishing the year as world number one with victory over David Ferrer in the final of the Paris Masters.
Djokovic was overtaken by Rafael Nadal last month and it appeared virtually impossible for the Serbian to regain the ranking this season given his rival had no points to defend.
But since losing to Nadal in the US Open final in September, Djokovic has been unbeaten, winning the title in Beijing and back-to-back Masters series trophies in Shanghai and now Paris.
Nadal is still very much the favourite, though, and two victories in London will be enough whatever Djokovic’s results at the O2 Arena and in the Davis Cup final in two weeks’ time.
Ferrer won his first Masters title in Bercy 12 months ago and upset Nadal in the semi-finals on Friday.
He certainly had his chances to retain his crown and led 5-3 in both sets only for Djokovic to win four games in a row twice to triumph 7-5 7-5.
Speaking about the number one position, Djokovic said: “It doesn’t just depend on me, it depends on Rafa. It’s very important for me to concentrate on myself and let things take care of themselves.
I’ve taken a lot of confidence from this week.”