Nole is through to the Paris Masters final!
Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer met for 47th time in a thrilling encounter on Saturday in the Rolex Paris Masters semi-final. The second seed recorded a 7-6 (6), 5-7, 7-6 (3) victory and improved to 25-22 in their rivalry.
Federer saved five break points in a gripping first set that went to a tie-break. Djokovic fought back from 2-4 behind and seized the initiative, denying a set point and sealing the opener in 71 minutes.
The players remained on serve throughout the second set, until game 12 when the Swiss came up with a late break and sent the match to a decider.
Novak failed to convert four break points in the third set, but played a great tie-breaker to emerge the victor after three hours and two minutes of a great battle.
“It was a spectacular match. We had epic matches throughout our rivalry but this one definitely ranks as one of the best matches we played,” Novak said. “We went toe-to-toe. High quality tennis.”
Nole came on top despite having 0/12 break point conversion rate. Both players won 74% of points on first serve.
Match statistics: aces (8-17), double faults (0-2), winners (31-54), unforced errors (32-52), total points won (129-123).
Djokovic, who will return to no.1 on Monday, is one win shy of tying Rafael Nadal’s record with 33 ATP Masters 1000 titles.
In the first semi-final of the day, Karen Khachanov upset sixth seed Dominic Thiem 6-4, 6-1.
It will be the second H2H meeting between Novak and the 22-year-old Russian when they face each other in Sunday’s final (15:00 CET). The Serb won their only previous encounter, in R4 of 2018 Wimbledon Championships (6-4, 6-2, 6-2).
The reigning Wimbledon and US Open champion will be looking to lift 73rd trophy of his career and fifth in 2018 against the first-time Masters 1000 finalist.
Novak carries a 4-0 record in Paris title matches into the final. He won the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event in 2009, 2013, 2014 and 2015.