Paris Masters: Karen Khachanov defeats Novak Djokovic in final
Paris Masters: Karen Khachanov defeats Novak Djokovic in final
Novak Djokovic overcame a formidable examination from Marin Cilic
05 November, 2018, 06:41
Paris - Russia's Karen Khachanov clinched the biggest win of his career on Sunday with a 7-5, 6-4 upset of Novak Djokovic to claim the Paris Masters title.
Ultimately, though, Federer, who saved all 12 break points on his serve, saw his resilience ended as Djokovic extended his career lead over the Swiss to 25-22 after their longest-ever three-set duel. Djokovic also won their previous meeting in Cincinnati in August, and Federer hasn't beaten his Serbian rival since 2015.
Still, the Wimbledon and U.S. Open champion has plenty to feel good about after a 22-match winning streak, and he remains a favourite for the season-ending ATP Finals in London, beginning November 11.
Djokovic, who will reclaim the top ranking from Rafael Nadal for the first time in two years, made a strong start in his pursuit of a record-equalling 33rd Masters title as he broke for a 3-1 lead in the opening set.
Djokovic broke for 3-1 in the second set and did not look back.
"Karen played really well and he deserved to win", Djokovic said.
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. The unseeded Russian won the first set with a big first serve that Djokovic could not return, stretching out his racket in vain as the fizzing ball clipped the frame.
Earning his fourth straight win over a top-10 player this week, Khachanov, whose muscular game resembles that of his childhood hero Marat Safin, the last Russian victor in Paris, picked up the biggest title of his burgeoning career.
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"I think that's what I showed against all the top 10 guys".
"For the most part I can be happy, my level was good, but losing is never fun", said Federer.
"I stepped in more inside the court", Khachanov said. The Russian also did well to use angles to force Thiem to go for low-percentage shots from awkward positions.
Earlier, Khachanov showed why he is one of the finest young talents in tennis with a thunderous victory over Thiem.
"This is my best match of the year, that's for sure".
"All credit to Karen, he did a great job today". But, just as a victor is someone who is always adjusting to adversity, Federer stuck out his racquet at the last moment which was a sheer reflex as the ball fell on the other court with a little bit of spin miles ahead of Djokovic, who was standing at the baseline.
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