Saturday, 17 November, 2018

Unseeded Khachanov stuns Djokovic to win Paris Masters

Djokovic beats Cilic again to reach Paris Masters semifinals Novak Djokovic just beat Roger Federer in one of the best tennis matches you'll see all year
Kristopher Love | 05 November, 2018, 15:48

"I mean, I won 20-plus matches in a row and had a most fantastic last five months", he said.

The 31-year-old Novak Djokovic appeared to tire early into the one hour and 37-minute match, following his three-hour battle against Roger Federer on the day before.

Khachanov became the third different first-time victor of a Masters tournament this season - joining Juan Martin del Potro and John Isner - and will rise to a career-high ranking of 11th on Monday.

The 22-year-old Khachanov, ranked 18th, is the first Russian to win here since Nikolay Davydenko in 2006.

"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".

Federer was seeking to become only the second man after Jimmy Connors to win a century of professional tour titles following his 99th win in Basel, only to fall agonisingly short.

"I want to talk about how well (Khachanov) played all week and absolutely deserved to win today", Djokovic told reporters. He deserves it. He's a young player up and coming.

The unseeded Khachanov broke Thiem to lead 5-4 and served out the first set.

Remarkably, the Austrian's powerful serve was broken five times in a row by Khachanov at the end of the first set and throughout a surprisingly one-sided second.

Elsewhere, Russian Karen Khachanov ran out a comfortable 6-1, 6-2 victor against fourth seed Alexander Zverev in their last-eight encounter.

Yet even though the Serb may also have been suffering from the after-effects of his epic three-hour 7-6 (8-6), 5-7, 7-6 (7-3) win over Roger Federer in the semi-final on Saturday, nothing could be taken away from the outstanding quality of Khachanov's attacking game. "I'm getting into (the) season finale feeling good about my game".

"So all the credit to him".

"I'm sure we'll see a lot of great games from him in the future", conceded Djokovic. What more can I ask for?

The 1.98m Khachanov secured a break for 2-1 with a crunching backhand pass down the line that Djokovic could only net on the half-volley.

"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.

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 previous year.