Saturday, 16 February, 2019


Khachanov shocks tennis world with stunning Djokovic upset

Novak Djokovic US Open and Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic is unbeaten in 21 matches
Noah Ferguson | 05 November, 2018, 15:47

Novak Djokovic said he was proud of his "most fantastic last five months" despite losing to Karen Khachanov in Sunday's Paris Masters final ahead of his return to world number one.

Khachanov became the third different first-time victor of a Masters tournament this year - joining John Isner and Juan Martin del Potro - and denied Djokovic a fourth title in a row ahead of his return to world number one on Monday.

However, Khachanov, who had saved match points against John Isner earlier in the week, hit back immediately with assured hitting as he refused to allow Djokovic to dictate the baseline exchanges.

The 22-year-old beat Djokovic 7-5 6-4 in one hour and 37 minutes to end the Serb's 22-match unbeaten run.

Karen Khachanov of Russian Federation has reached the final of the Paris Masters after a comfortable straight sets win over Dominic Thiem of Austria on Saturday.

Marat Safin - to whom Karen Khachanov has often been compared - won the Paris Masters three times, but lost his first final to Andre Agassi.

Khachanov added this title to the Kremlin Cup in Moscow last month for his third title of the year and fourth overall.

"We had epic matches throughout our rivalry but this one definitely ranks as one of the best matches we played", Djokovic told reporters.

"Next to the match I played against (Rafa) Nadal in the Wimbledon semis, this was definitely the most exciting match I've played this year, and probably the best quality match that I was part of".

"Karen played really well and he deserved to win", Djokovic said.

"So all the credit to him".

The 1.98m Khachanov secured a break for 2-1 with a crunching backhand pass down the line that Djokovic could only net on the half-volley. The Russian won the first set with a big first serve that Djokovic could not return, stretching out his racket in vain as the fizzing ball clipped the frame.

After both players held to love, Khachanov showed no nerves - even though he was in his first Masters final - and served out the match. "I couldn't be happier to end the season like this, to win against Novak Djokovic, the number one in the world".

"After that, my intensity (changed), I stepped in more inside the court, started to move him and maybe he didn't expect that", said Khachanov, who did not give up another break point in the rest of the match with his pinpoint, heavy serving. And what more can I ask for? "But 3-0, you know?"

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