Published: Wed, November 07, 2018
Sport | By Tony Jimenez

Khachanov stuns Djokovic to win Paris Masters title

Khachanov stuns Djokovic to win Paris Masters title

No7, Marin Cilic, played some of his best tennis of the tournament in his attempt to replicate his Queen's victory over the new No1, Novak Djokovic, but the Serb, a four-time champion at the Paris Masters, fought back, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3, to extend his unbeaten run to 21 matches.

As the first set neared its conclusion, Djokovic showed signs of fatigue and Khachanov employed his aggressive game plan - hitting 18 winners in the opener - to break for a second time and move 6-5 ahead, before recovering from 0-30 to seal the first set.

The opening set saw no break en route to the tie-break, where Djokovic saved a set point with three consecutive points for an 8-6 win.

The 22-year-old reached his first Masters 1000 showpiece after seeing off the sixth seed in 71 minutes - the same time it took Djokovic to win the first set against Federer.

Djokovic's fourth straight win over Federer and 25th in 47 contests sends him into the final against unseeded Russian Karen Khachanov, who has never played in a Masters final.

Khachanov took ruthless advantage of the German's physical struggles as Zverev, who was battling shoulder trouble, needed a medical time-out in the first set at 4-1 down.

No8 in the Race, Dominic Thiem, could do no more: He beat Paris's defending champion Jack Sock in a fine three-set comeback, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4.

"Paris. I played some good tennis so I can be happy", he pointed out.

"Next to the match I played against (Rafa) Nadal in the Wimbledon semis, this was definitely the most exciting match I've played this year, and probably the best quality match that I was part of".

The third break arrived for Khachanov in the third game of the second set. I'm just pleased to be in the semis.

"When you lose a close match like this you always have regrets", he said.

However, he has a 2-6 record against Federer with his most recent win over the 20-time major champion coming in 2014. "This match could have gone either way", said Djokovic.

Thiem, the French Open finalist, came from behind to win 4-6 6-4 6-4 against Jack Sock, who won the title in Paris a year ago.

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.

He said: "I am very happy to come to the finals but I didn't feel too good today".

"He deserves his trophy and I am sure we will see a lot of great matches from him in the future".

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