World No. 2 Novak Djokovic defeated the Swiss maestro Roger Federer in the semifinals of 2018 Paris Masters. The three-hour affair culminated with 7-6(3), 5-7, 7-6(3).
The rivalry between the two players has been marked by some epic matches and this game too lived up to the expectations. The match started off well with both the players competing for a spot in the final in Paris.
The Serbian, who has been in an exceptional form of late, gave Federer a run for his money. In the very second game of the first set, Djokovic had a chance to win a break and go up 2-0. However, Federer managed to save the break point there and retain his service.
A similar instance was also seen at 3-4 when Djokovic squandered four break points – an otherwise feat that would have seen him serve for the set. Eventually, the set went into the tiebreak and the reigning US Open champion had the upper hand there. He proved his mettle by saving a set point at 5-6 in the tiebreak, only to win it moments later.
The second set was pretty much along the same lines. The two players were pretty even throughout the set. Things changed at 6-5 when Djokovic was serving to take the game into another tiebreak. This time, it was Federer who managed to dig into his experience and break the Serbian to take the second set 7-5.
The third set started with Nole failing to capitalize on two break points to take an early lead. Just like the first set, he wasted two more break points at 4-4. With Federer retaining his service throughout the set, the two players eventually found themselves in the tiebreak.
Djokovic took an insurmountable lead early in the tiebreak. Soon, he found himself serving for the match at 6-1. Federer did all he could but the Serbian was far too strong for him.
All in all, Djokovic failed to convert any of the 12 break point opportunities he was given. However, the Serb rose to the occasion during the critical moments of the game.
He will now face Karen Khachanov in the final in Paris. The 22-year-old Russian is coming in after defeating Dominic Thiem in the semis in straight sets. Khachanov was sensational in that match – it took the Kremlin Cup winner just an hour and 12 minutes to win the match with 6-4, 6-1.
He won a total of five break points out of a possible eight while retaining a first serve win-rate of 69%. This will be the third time that Khachanov will be playing in a final this year and interestingly, he has been victorious on the last two occasions.