Djokovic proud of 'amazing five months' after Khachanov upset

Djokovic proud of 'amazing five months' after Khachanov upset

Djokovic, a record four-time champion at the indoor event, looked out of energy after an epic three-hour semifinal win against Roger Federer on Saturday.

Federer, in stark contrast, was hardly stretched at all in dispatching Nishikori, beating the Japanese for a sixth straight time while not dropping serve.

He had won his previous three finals, and said his 100 percent record helped him when he stepped on court against the 14-time Grand Slam champion.

Djokovic struggled to handle Khachanov's brutal two-handed, cross-court backhands from the baseline, which often landed near his ankles, and dropped his serve again to trail 2-1 in the second set.

"He was playing big from the back of the court, flat backhands and forehand". He was given a huge ovation by the crowd after his win.

Djokovic, victor of the Wimbledon and US Open championships this year, will now face Roger Federer or Kei Nishikori for a place in Sunday's final.

"I didn't unfortunately. But I don't want to talk about that", Djokovic said. "I have an enormous amount of support around the world. And this title, it's a good year-end I would say", Khachanov said.

Federer, the 2011 champion in Paris, last beat Djokovic at the ATP Tour Finals in 2015 and was comprehensively beaten by his long-time rival in the Cincinnati Masters final on the eve of the US Open this year. "It was the worst day of my career for returning".

Khachanov took ruthless advantage of the German's physical struggles as Zverev, who was battling shoulder trouble, needed a medical time-out in the first set at 4-1 down. His long backhand in the 10th game earned the Russian hopeful a ground-breaking title of career.

In the third set, a Cilic cross-court forehand victor saw him break a for 2-1 lead.

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The Serbian started strongly and secured a quick break of serve to go 3-1 up before the momentum shifted.

"Karen played really well and he deserved to win", Djokovic said. "I was kind of going up and down. Maybe I'm not crying, but still I'm really happy".

A far tougher test lies in store for Federer, however, with Djokovic up next and on a 21-match winning run as he bids for a fourth consecutive title.

Thiem, the French Open finalist, came from behind to win 4-6 6-4 6-4 against Jack Sock, who won the title in Paris a year ago.

Khachanov took a leaf out of the Serb's book of celebrations by bending down to kiss the Centre Court.

Earlier, Russian Karen Khachanov upset young gun Alexander Zverev 6-1 6-2 to reach the other semi against Dominic Thiem, who beat defending champion Jack Sock 4-6 6-4 6-4. He took exception to some comments made in Khachanov's box and spoke to his opponent at the end of the first set. "He can really hurt you", Djokovic said. "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".

The only consolation for Cilic was booking a place in the ATP Finals in London later this month courtesy of Nishikori's loss.

Novak Djokovic of Serbia returns the ball to Marin Cilic of Croatia during their quarterfinal match of the Paris Masters tennis tournament at the Bercy Arena in Paris, France, Friday, Nov. 2, 2018.

Austria's Dominic Thiem celebrates after defeating Jack Sock of the US during their quarter-final match of the Paris Masters tennis tournament at the Bercy Arena in Paris, France, Friday, Nov. 2, 2018.

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