Djokovic edges Federer in Paris classic

Virginia Santiago
November 5, 2018

Djokovic has returned to the form which saw him hold all four Grand Slam titles in the summer of 2016 but after back-to-back, gruelling three-set victories against Marin Cilic and Roger Federer, he was unable to reproduce the same level against a composed Khachanov.

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.

Despite missed opportunities by Khachanov, who also won titles in Marseille and Moscow this season, for a double-break advantage, he maintained his composure to serve out for a memorable victory.

Federer was seeking to become only the second man after Jimmy Connors to win a century of professional tour titles following his 99th win in Basel, only to fall agonisingly short.

Karen Khachanov of Russian Federation has reached the final of the Paris Masters after a comfortable straight sets win over Dominic Thiem of Austria on Saturday.

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Djokovic, who has been suffering from flu-like symptoms all week, added: "I don't feel too good today but I'd like to give respect to Karen for playing a great match today and he deserves to win".

He refused to blame the exertions of an exhilarating three-hour showdown with Roger Federer in Saturday's semi-finals after missing out on a fifth Paris Masters crown.

Federer battled admirably to stay on serve in the second set, as Djokovic had chances to break in multiple different games, and Djokovic appeared in control of the match.

Still, the Wimbledon and U.S. Open champion has plenty to feel good about after a 22-match winning streak, and he remains favorite for the season-ending ATP Finals in London, beginning November 11.

"To finish the season like this is really a dream come true", said Khachanov, who will rise to a career high of 12th when the latest rankings are published on Monday.

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"For the most part I can be happy, my level was good, but losing is never fun", said Federer.

Elsewhere, Russian Karen Khachanov ran out a comfortable 6-1, 6-2 victor against fourth seed Alexander Zverev in their last-eight encounter. But already established player, top player.

'And he showed great quality today and he showed why we're going to see a lot of him in the future'.

Khachanov is the first Russian to win a Masters title since Nikolay Davydenko in 2009.

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