Djokovic beats Federer to reach Paris Masters final


Novak Djokovic is now unbeaten in 22 matches

Novak Djokovic beat Roger Federer in three thrilling sets to reach the final of the Paris Masters.

In their 47th meeting, the Serb took the match 7-6 (8-6) 5-7 7-6 (7-3) in three hours and two minutes.

Djokovic, who will return to world number one on Monday, will face Karen Khachanov in Sunday’s final after the Russian defeated Dominic Thiem.

“It was a spectacular match and one of the best of my career against him,” Djokovic told Sky Sports.

“We went toe-to-toe.”

The 31-year-old – now unbeaten in 22 matches – is a four-time winner of the Paris Masters. A win on Sunday will see him draw level with Spain’s Rafael Nadal on 33 career Masters titles.

Swiss third seed Federer, chasing his 100th career title, seemed to be back to his best in Saturday’s semi-final and looked stronger as the match wore on.

The 37-year-old spurned set point in the first set tie-break and could only watch as Djokovic took the early advantage, roaring with emotion following a one hour 14 minute epic.

But, with nothing separating the two in the second, Federer finally broke Djokovic to win the set and restore parity – the first service break of the match.

Federer hit several sublime backhand shots down the line in the deciding set but Djokovic’s serve was dominant, though the Serb grew frustrated as the set wore on, his opponent standing resolute.

The third set tie-break proved Federer’s undoing as he found himself unable to answer Djokovic, allowing the Serb to breeze to victory.

He will face Khachanov for only the second time in Sunday’s final after the 22-year-old beat Thiem 6-4 6-1.

“He’s been playing some sensational tennis. He’s striking the ball beautifully,” Djokovic said.

“I’ve got to use my experience and hopefully I can recover before then.”

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