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Djokovic edges Federer in classic three-setter in Paris

Djokovic edges Federer in classic three-setter in Paris

Novak Djokovic will face Karen Khachanov in the final of the Paris Masters after defeating Roger Federer in a spectacular semi-final.

"We've had some epic matches but clearly this is one of the best, in terms of the level of play".

The first set of the three-hour, three-minute match lasted 71 minutes itself, with Djokovic winning in a tiebreak when a Federer backhand went wide.

It means Djokovic will contest his fourth final in a row after a stunning run of form in the latter half of 2018 and now leads Federer 25-22 in career head-to-head.

However, he has a 2-6 record against Federer with his most recent win over the 20-time major champion coming in 2014.

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 Japanese consequently appeared to lose all composure, gifting Federer another break at the start of the second.

"Paris. I played some good tennis so I can be happy", he pointed out. In the 2013 semifinals, he bounced back from a set down to beat the Swiss, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2. "I'm just happy that match by match I'm just increasing the level of the game", he added.




The 22-year-old Russian has for some time been seen as one of the rising young talents of the sport but few could have envisaged his demolition of the Serbian superstar, who was on a three-month, 22-match winning streak.

Cilic and Thiem sealed the last two spots for the season-ending ATP Finals in London, starting on November 11. So if I'm not playing really, really good like today, then what's happening, they kill me', said Thiem who will play the ATP Finals in London next.

The missed opportunity proved costly when Federer conjured up just a second break point of the contest at 6-5, converting in style as he gambled on Djokovic going cross-court before batting a victor down the line to force a decider.

Djokovic reeled off six successive points to bring up five match points, clinching victory at the third attempt when Federer picked out the net to end a tense concluding rally.

The Russian player, who named Marat Safin, a former Russian tennis star as his hero and inspiration, was born in Moscow on 21 May 1996.

"I need to keep on working with my team and to improve day by day and to compete with guys like Novak at the biggest tournaments more consistently".

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.

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