Wednesday 14 November 2018
News ID: 59321
Publish Date: 05 November 2018 - 21:25

PARIS (AP) -- Karen Khachanov has upset a tired-looking Novak Djokovic 7-5, 6-4 to win the Paris Masters title and deprive Djokovic of the chance to match Rafael Nadal's record of 33 Masters titles.
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.
After also being taken to three sets by Marin Cilic in Friday's quarterfinals, Djokovic's semifinal finished at around 8 p.m. local time and he felt he was unable to recover sufficiently from that draining encounter.
''I didn't unfortunately. But I don't want to talk about that,'' Djokovic said. ''I want to talk about how well (Khachanov) played all week and absolutely deserved to win today.''
Asked again whether it was a case of emotional fatigue, after such an intense tussle with Federer, Djokovic repeated his praise for Khachanov.
''Karen played really well and he deserved to win,'' Djokovic said. ''All the credit to him.''
Although Djokovic broke in the fourth game to move 3-1 up and then led 30-0 on serve, the unseeded Khachanov broke him straight back and the momentum abruptly shifted away from Djokovic.
Djokovic seemed agitated at times and twice turned to his box to remonstrate about an unspecified issue during the first set.
Khachanov broke for 6-5 when he hit a powerful shot down the line that Djokovic could only scoop back into the net. 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.
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 had to save three more break points in the seventh game to hold for 4-3 down.
After both players held to love, Khachanov showed no nerves - even though he was in his first Masters final - and served out the match.
He secured victory on his first match point when Djokovic chopped a backhand return wide. The imposing Khachanov thrust both his arms in the air and, moments later, knelt down to kiss the court.
Djokovic will return to No. 1 in the rankings for the first time in two years on Monday, but the Serb will be disappointed at missing out on a 73rd career title, having withstood the best of Federer on Saturday.
Still, the Wimbledon and U.S. Open champion has plenty to feel good about after a 22-match winning streak, and he remains favorite for the season-ending ATP Finals in London, beginning Nov. 11.
The 22-year-old Khachanov, ranked 18th, is the first Russian to win here since Nikolay Davydenko in 2006. Marat Safin won it three times before that.



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