Djokovic beats Federer to advance to Paris Masters final

Heather Diaz
November 5, 2018

An inspired Karen Khachanov sensationally halted Novak Djokovic's 22-match winning run to claim the biggest title of his career at the Paris Masters.

Coming into the match, all attention was on Djokovic's bid for a record-tying 33rd Masters 1000 title and 23rd straight match win, but it was Khachanov who extended his own run of 11 wins in 12 matches.

"So all the credit to him".

What was most impressive about Khachanov's victory was the manner in which he bullied Djokovic around the court with the depth and booming accuracy of his groundstrokes and his confidence in his ventures to the net. "I couldn't be happier to end the season like this, to win against Novak Djokovic, the number one in the world".

The 1.98m Khachanov secured a break for 2-1 with a crunching backhand pass down the line that Djokovic could only net on the half-volley.

The only previous time they had met, Djokovic crushed the Russian in straight sets at Wimbledon and, briefly, it seemed as if the same fate could await Khachanov again as he was out-rallied to go 3-1 down in the opening set.

Thiem, the French Open finalist, came from behind to win 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 against Jack Sock, who won the title in Paris a year ago. He had to save three more break points in the seventh game to hold for 4-3 down.

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Karen Khachanov says his win over Novak Djokovic in the Paris Masters final was one of the biggest of his career so far.

"I'm satisfied of course and I'm going to be No. 1 tomorrow". And what more can I ask for?

Djokovic will replace Rafael Nadal at the top of the rankings on Monday, but was unable to match the Spaniard's tally of Masters triumphs ahead of the season-ending ATP Finals in London.

However, Khachanov, who had saved match points against John Isner earlier in the week, hit back immediately with assured hitting as he refused to allow Djokovic to dictate the baseline exchanges.

Khachanov became the third different first-time victor of a Masters tournament this year - joining John Isner and Juan Martin del Potro - and denied Djokovic a fourth title in a row ahead of his return to world number one on Monday.

The 22-year-old Russian has for some time been seen as one of the rising young talents of the sport but few could have envisaged his demolition of the Serbian superstar, who was on a three-month, 22-match winning streak. "But 3-0, you know?"

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