Published: Wed, November 07, 2018
Sport | By Ruben Hill

Djokovic's epic victory over Federer among the hardest wins

Djokovic's epic victory over Federer among the hardest wins

Novak Djokovic was gracious in defeat and expressed his pride over "a most awesome last five months" after Karen Khachanov halted his 22-match winning streak to claim Paris Masters glory in a stunning upset on Sunday.

Djokovic had his personal-best winning sequence of 30 consecutive sets ended in Bercy as Cilic played nearly flawlessly aggressive tennis to draw first blood in a magnificent duel.

He saved a break point with a sharp volley at the net when serving for the set at 5-4 and then broke Nishikori at the start of the second set to take firm control.

The 22-year-old came into the showpiece as the underdog, but impressed with a confident all-court performance, which belied his relative inexperience, to beat the four-time champion 7-5 6-4.

Serbia's Novak Djokovic in action during the final against Russia's Karen Khachanov.

Saturday's other semi-final will feature Austrian sixth seed Dominic Thiem against unseeded Russian Karen Khachanov who knocked out fourth seeded Alexander Zverev. He deserves it. He's a young player up and coming. "I couldn't be happier to finish the season like this".

The Russian went on to break the Serbian early on in the second set but failed to capitalise off another three break points in the seventh game.

"I'm very, very happy and proud about it". "If you keep maintaining the level what you play, I think that's the main reason why these matches actually I won".

"We've had epic matches throughout our rivalry but this one definitely ranks as one of the best matches we played".

'So all the credit to him.

The same day, Djokovic booked the final ticket beating old rival Roger Federer in three sets. Federer is two wins shy of his 100th career title.

"I was thinking, 'OK, (Djokovic) has, I don't know, 70 titles and I have three, '" Khachanov said.

"The second thing is after some tough loses against top guys like Rafa in NY, I think they push me to the limit and even to work more harder". But already an established player, a top player.

"And in general, it's a breakthrough season", said Khachanov, who also won the Kremlin Cup in Moscow last month.

Roger Federer has faced 328 players in 1,435 matches over his 20-year career on the ATP World Tour. "I'm always excited to play against him, particularly because it's been a long time [since we've played] and I feel I can just go out there and see what happens", Federer said.

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