Points won by each set: [ 29-18, 31-35, 35-28 ]
Points won directly behind the serve:
25 % Pavel – 25 of 100
20 % Novak – 17 of 82
Consideration of Pavel’s ranking  in the context of Masters 1K final is shocking, but also a bit misleading. The Romanian was ranked inside the Top 30 in three consecutive seasons when he began the year 2003 with a back injury, and after losing the opening 8 matches of the new season he decided to take a break which lasted six months. When he came back to the tour he used the protective ranking  allowing to use it for 8 events or 9 months. Paris-Bercy meant his 5th event after a non-impressive comeback, he was low on the list of reserves for this tournament, but everyone above him pulled out and he was invited to play only Friday evening – two days before the event kicked off. Despite winning just three matches up to that point in 2003, he managed to get 4 wins in the French capital! Exactly a year before in the same city he’d defeated Novak 6-1, 6-3 which certainly helped facing the guy who was trying to advance to Masters. Novak  needed to win that match to become at least an alternate for Masters in Houston. In the 3rd set he saved two mini-match points at 2:4 to improve for 4-all. Then lost his serve quickly, and the Romanian asked for a trainer just in case of another change of ends (felt approaching cramps). Not being 100% fit Pavel saved a break point with offensive attitude in the last game of the match and forced Novak error on match point with another net-approach.