The semifinals of the 2018 Paris Masters will feature a clash of the titans between the World No. 2 Novak Djokovic and the World No. 3 Roger Federer. The two players will meet each other on Saturday afternoon.
This will be the 47th encounter between the duo and the Serbian leads Federer with a narrow margin of 24-22.
Djokovic, who is set to become the World No. 1 on Monday after the withdrawal of Rafael Nadal from the competition, has had a terrific season so far. Having started the year outside the top 20, he has moved up in the rankings to reach the top place. He has won a couple of major tournaments over the course of the season – Shanghai Masters, Cincinnati Masters, and the US Open.
On the other hand, Federer has done a remarkable job of keeping himself in the top three at the age of 37. His strong service game has helped him win many tournaments in 2018, including the Swiss Indoors Basel and the Mercedes Cup.
The Swiss is chasing his 100th singles title in Paris but Djokovic presents a definite threat to his ambitions. The Serbian has dominated four of their last five meetings. Most recently, they met in the final in Cincinnati this year where Djokovic won in straight sets.
The two players have had a rather interesting run in Paris. Federer enjoyed back-to-back byes after his second round opponent Milos Raonic withdrew from the tournament. He then met Fabio Fognini in the third round whom he defeated 6-4, 6-3. He produced a similar outcome against Kei Nishikori next – he defeated the Japanese with 6-4, 6-4.
As for Djokovic, he overcame the likes of Joao Sousa and Damir Dzumhur before meeting Marin Cilic. The Croat posed some problems for the Serbian by winning the first set. However, the reigning Wimbledon champion staged a comeback and moved on to win the match 4-6, 6-2, 6-3.
The other semifinal will be played between Dominic Thiem and Karen Khachanov. This will be the first meeting between the two players. The young Russian has delivered a couple of upsets so far – he defeated the American No. 1 John Isner and the German Alexander Zverev.
Meanwhile, Thiem defeated the likes of Borna Coric and the defending champion Jack Sock to make it to the final four.