Sport

Khachanov advances to Paris Masters final

Khachanov advances to Paris Masters final”

Novak Djokovic lavished Karen Khachanov with praise after the Russian recorded the biggest win of his career to date in the final of the Paris Masters.

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.

"I hope I play better than in Cincinnati because I really didn't play well", Federer said.

Now he has to find a way past Djokovic, the Wimbledon and U.S. Open champion who has beaten Federer in their past three meetings and leads him 24-22 overall.

Khachanov won the Kremlin Cup in Moscow last month for his third career title.

Victory would have marked Djokovic's fifth Paris Masters title but he was not allowed to settle into Sunday's match and was undone when Khachanov broke his serve at 5-5 before going on to win the first set.

Djokovic overcame Roger Federer in an energy-sapping thriller that lasted over three hours in Saturday's semi-finals, and the Serb began to look tired as he dropped serve to a fall behind early in the second set.

"It was one of my best matches and what I'm happy about is that I was increasing my level, which shows that I'm becoming a better player", Khachanov, who reached his first Masters 1000 final, said. "I want to talk about how well [Khachanov] played all week and absolutely deserved to win today".

Djokovic has been hot recently, winning 22 straight matches and qualifying for his fourth consecutive final. He deserves it. He's a young player up and coming.

"All the credit to him".

In Djokovic's own words to Sky Sports, the pair went "toe-to-toe" as Federer showed extraordinary quality in keeping the match so close against the sport's most in-form player. I mean, today was Novak, the one who is No. 1 in the world.

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.

Khachanov broke for 6-5 when he hit a powerful shot down the line that Djokovic could only scoop back into the net.

The Russian dominated the match and won the first set 6-4. "I was kind of going up and down".

Even though he was not broken once, it was still not enough for the 37-year-old Swiss, whose nerve failed him in an anti-climactic final tiebreak in which he served a double fault and made two more careless groundstroke errors.



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