Djokovic outlasts Federer in titanic semi-final

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic recovered from one set down to beat Croatia's Marin Cilic and reach the semi-finals of the Paris Masters.

Russia's Karen Khachanov capped an impressive year with the "biggest achievement" of his career as he stunned Novak Djokovic 7-5, 6-4 in Sunday's Paris Masters final.

The Serb threw his racket down in frustration as Federer again escaped from 15-40 down to move 5-4 ahead, but the 20-time Grand Slam champion's magic fizzled out as the final set headed to a tie-break.

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. "I couldn't be happier to finish the season like this". The 22-year-old Russian tennis player praised his opponent after the triumph.

He then made the most of a third break point in the third game of the second set with a running forehand victor, before holding his nerve to serve out the match. "I'm just really proud of myself that I could be in this list of winners".

"When you are losing, maybe you get frustrated from some calls from somebody in the crowd and maybe he was pissed, I don't know, that somebody from my box screamed on his mistake and that was the reason", Khachanov told Sky Sports afterwards.

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Roger Federer, who has skipped the French Open the last two years, insisted Saturday he has "no idea" whether he will play at the clay-court Grand Slam next season. Five months ago, it was highly improbable considering my ranking and the way I played and felt on the court.

Federer advanced to their 47th career meeting by beating Kei Nishikori 6-4, 6-4, his sixth straight win against the Japanese player.

The four-time victor of Paris title having reigned in 2009 and 2013-15, will return to the year-end top spot for a fifth time in the ATP Rankings tomorrow.

World number 18 Khachanov saved two match points against John Isner in the last 16 but needed just over an hour to dispatch Zverev, who dropped his serve six times in eight games. "I can't foresee too much in advance but I don't think it will be my last match here". But already, an established player, top player.

Djokovic backed up his success at Wimbledon with three titles in a row - at Cincinnati, the US Open and Shanghai - before his 22-match winning run was ended by an inspired Khachanov.

"I would like to give a lot of respect to Karen for playing such fantastic match today and he deserves to win".

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