Karen Khachanov shocks Novak Djokovic to win Paris Masters

Mae Harvey
November 5, 2018

"It means the world to me", said world number 18 Khachanov.

Novak Djokovic just beat Roger Federer in a three hour epic in Paris.

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 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. I want to talk about how well he (Khachanov) played all week.

Brilliant one-handed winners on the run from Federer and acute-angle volleys at the net were matched by tireless retrieving from the baseline and laser-beam forehands to the lines from Djokovic. 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.

The unseeded Khachanov struck 31 winners in an imperious performance, denying the 14-time grand slam champion a record-equalling 33rd Masters title with a 7-5 6-4 upset in Bercy.

Djokovic, who will take the world number one ranking from Rafael Nadal on Monday, won 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 to extend his winning run to 21 matches, before Federer then saw off Japan's Kei Nishikori in straight sets. 'I couldn't be happier to finish the season like this'.

Serbia's Novak Djokovic (L) and Switzerland's Roger Federer shake hands at the end of their men's singles semi-final tennis match on day six of Paris Masters tournament in Paris, on November 3, 2018.

Earning his fourth straight win over a top-10 player this week, Khachanov, a victor at the Kremlin Cup in Moscow last month, picked up the biggest title of his burgeoning career. What more can I ask for?

"I'm sure we'll see a lot of great games from him in the future", conceded Djokovic.

"After that, my intensity (changed), I stepped in more inside the court, started to move him and maybe he didn't expect that", said Khachanov, who did not give up another break point in the rest of the match with his pinpoint, heavy serving.

Djokovic outlasted Federer in an energy-sapping classic that lasted over three hours on Saturday, and the Serb began to look tired as he dropped serve to a fall behind early in the second set.

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