Karen Khachanov stuns Novak Djokovic to win Paris Masters


Roger Federer outclassed Kei Nishikori 6-4 6-4 on Friday to set up a meeting with Novak Djokovic in the Paris Masters semi-finals.

Novak Djokovic is too tough for Roger Federer.

After also being taken to three sets by Marin Cilic in Friday's quarterfinals, Djokovic's semifinal finished at around 8 p.m. local time and he felt he was unable to recover sufficiently from that draining encounter.

"It means the world to me", he said. I want to talk about how well he (Khachanov) played all week.

Asked again whether it was also a case of emotional and mental fatigue after such an intense tussle with Federer, Djokovic repeated his praise for Khachanov. "This match could have gone either way", said Djokovic. So all the credit to him, he deserves it.

Khachanov took a leaf out of the Serb's book of celebrations by bending down to kiss the Centre Court. "I started to move him and maybe he didn't expect that I could do it after being down 3-1 with a break".

The Serb seemed agitated at times and twice turned to his box to remonstrate about an unspecified issue during the first set.

Khachanov soon snatched the break back and, after edging ahead at 6-5 with another break, sealed the set in 58 minutes with his third ace.

Cilic wrapped up the opener in the 10th game, ending Wimbledon and US Open champion Djokovic's 30-set win streak in the process.

When in more peril at break point down at 3-3, he delivered an fantastic game-saving backhand at full stretch, which perhaps helped break Cilic's spirit.

"He was playing big from the back of the court, flat backhands and forehand".

"I told him my shoulder is hurting and that his uncle, or something, that he's going a bit insane", Zverev said.

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"His serve is really, really strong and precise".

The victory of the second racket of the world got on tie-breaks in the first and final parts of the match.

"It's a breakthrough season, this title is a good one".

"I make a couple of unforced errors and just played a bad game", Djokovic said.

"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.

"I'm satisfied of course and I'm going to be number one [on Monday] officially".

Thiem has won the second-most matches on the ATP Tour this year - now 53-17 - one behind Zverev's mark of 54-17. "I'm getting into (the) season finale feeling good about my game".

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

"I watched (Safin's) matches but later, not at the age of eight", he said.

Khachanov became the third different first-time victor of a Masters tournament this year - joining Juan Martin del Potro and John Isner - and denied Djokovic a fourth title in a row ahead of his return to World No 1 on Monday.

Federer and Nishikori held serve with relative ease early on in their quarter-final before the 20-time grand slam champion stepped up the pace at 4-4.

"I was thinking, 'OK, (Djokovic) has, I don't know, 70 titles and I have three, '" Khachanov said. But, you know, tonight he was just hitting the spots beautifully.