Djokovic beats Federer in epic Paris semi

Djokovic beats Federer in epic Paris semi

Djokovic beats Federer in epic Paris semi

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

Both players struck the ball cleanly from the onset and battled through a tight first set, the highlight of which came when Federer produced a stroke of genius at the net while down break point.

Novak Djokovic ruined Roger Federer's ambitions of a 100th career title as he outlasted his great adversary 7-6 (6), 5-7, 7-6 (3) in an epic Paris Masters semi-final that stretched his remarkable unbeaten run to 22 matches on Saturday.

Djokovic, victor of the Wimbledon and US Open championships this year, lost his cool in the second set of his last-eight tie after an outburst at his own box, before breaking his racket in the third.

However, the Serb star admits that his challenge on Saturday may be compromised by a heavy cold.

However, the 14-time major victor roared back, breaking twice in the second set to level the contest.

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Khachanov, at 22 another of the sport's brightest prospects, took ruthless advantage of the 21-year-old German's physical struggles as Zverev, battling with shoulder trouble, needed a medical time out in the first set at 4-1 down.

The Swiss took the second set, however, when he broke Djokovic's serve late in the set, to force a third set. "This match could have gone either way", said Djokovic.

Yet it only prompted Djokovic to increase his focus and produce some supreme play to turn the tide and prevail 4-6 6-2 6-3.

After being broken to go 2-1 down in the final set, Djokovic smashed his racket, accepted the code violation and steamed with anger in his seat before immediately breaking back.

The 22-year-old, 6ft 6in Russian, already the owner of two indoor hard court titles this year, moved one step away from the biggest title of his career at the Bercy indoor arena, crushing his Austrian friend in 70 one-sided minutes.

The Serbian legend, who has won the last two Grand Slams, will look to win his fifth Paris Masters title on Sunday.

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Djokovic will face Khachanov in the final after the Russian powered past Dominic Thiem 6-4 6-1.

"I think especially the second part of the year I'm playing really my best tennis. I mean, I'm looking forward to play finals tomorrow", said the 18th-ranked Khachanov.

"Everything is fine between us and there is no problem".

Thiem, the world number eight who on Friday had booked his place in the ATP Finals, was out of sorts and seemed discomfited from the start by the depth and power of the groundstrokes he has seen so often from his regular practice partner.

Thiem has won the second-most matches on the ATP Tour this year - now 53-17 - one behind Zverev´s mark of 54-17.

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