Karen Khachanov victory can't stop Novak Djokovic reclaiming No 1 spot

Jo Caldwell
November 7, 2018

Karen Khachanov sprung one of the biggest upsets of the year by stunning four-time champion Novak Djokovic in the final of the Paris Masters.

Since then, however, he has won Wimbledon and the US Open, taking his Grand Slam tally to 14, winning 20 consecutive tour-level matches for the sixth time, and 29 of his past 30 encounters.

Federer saved a break point with a volley when serving for the set at 5-4. Moreover, in the third set, Djokovic tussled to stay in the tournament and broke the Croat in the eighth game which happened to be the rock-bottom for his 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 quarterfinal victory.

Djokovic is two wins shy of tying Rafael Nadal's record with 33 ATP Masters 1000 titles.

Novak Djokovic took his shock Paris Masters final defeat to Karen Khachanov on the chin, saying the Russian deserved to win.

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Khachanov's momentum continued in the second set, and the Russian took a 3-1 lead and never looked back.

The world number 18, who needed just over an hour to beat Zverev, will face Dominic Thiem in the semi-finals. "I couldn't be happier to finish the season like this".

The 31-year-old, now unbeaten in 22 matches, is a four-time victor of the Paris Masters. "My priority is London, but now I am so far into the tournament I'll just give it a go and hope things click for me". Federer will need to win this time if he is to keep alive his albeit slim chance of regaining the year-end No1, and with it his 100th title.

Despite missed opportunities by Khachanov, who also won titles in Marseille and Moscow this season, for a double-break advantage, he maintained his composure to serve out for a memorable victory.

The same day, Djokovic booked the final ticket beating old rival Roger Federer in three sets. "I told him to tell him to keep it down a little bit because he was going a little bit too much over the edge".

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"It was a very intense match", Djokovic said.

'I want to talk about how well he played all week.

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. But already established player, top player.

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

Djokovic backed up his success at Wimbledon with three titles in a row - at Cincinnati, the US Open and Shanghai - before his 22-match winning run was ended by an inspired Khachanov.

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