Djokovic outlasts Federer in titanic semi-final

ATP Paris Roger Federer impresses against Kei Nishikori. Djokovic next

ATP Paris Roger Federer impresses against Kei Nishikori. Djokovic next

Djokovic will go in search of a fifth Paris trophy after denying Federer a shot at a historic 100th title, although the Wimbledon and US Open champion was pushed all the way by his 37-year-old rival.

The missed opportunity proved costly when Federer conjured up just a second break point of the contest at 6-5, converting in style as he gambled on Djokovic going cross-court before batting a victor down the line to force a decider.

With 10 break points wasted, Djokovic forced another two at 4-4, when Federer saved both the Djokovic response was to smash the racket into the arena floor while his opponent closed out the game to move within a game of the match and a first win over the Serb since 2015.

Thiem, the world number eight who on Friday had booked his place in the ATP Finals, was out of sorts and seemed rushed by the depth and power of Khachanov's groundstrokes.

Roger Federer lost to Novak Djokovic in three sets, 7-6 5-7 7-6, at the Rolex Paris Masters semifinals on Saturday, which means the Swiss can not win his 100th career-title in the French tournament.

Djokovic reeled off six successive points to bring up five match points, clinching victory at the third attempt when Federer picked out the net to end a tense concluding rally.

Thiem has won the second-most matches on the ATP Tour this year - now 53-17 - one behind Zverev´s mark of 54-17.

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Djokovic, who took an awkward tumble when stretching for a forehand, received a warning for smashing his racquet on the floor after passing up a second break point at 4-4 in the third.

Djokovic now progresses to the Paris Masters final and will play Karen Khachanov, an athlete he beat on his path to the 2018 Wimbledon Championships title.

Djokovic briefly let his temper get the better of him when he had Federer at 15-40 down in the ninth game of the deciding set. You can feel it.

The pair traded a couple of routine holds before heading into the tie-break where Djokovic prevailed against a tentative Federer, who led 4-2 with the first mini-break and fired a forehand into the net with the court open in front of him.

After the victory, Djokovic pointed to his ear as a cheeky gesture to the outwardly pro-Federer crowd. "I'm confident and I'm in the final, so I'm really happy about it". But for the most part I can be happy. "I expect an exciting final". But the tournament is not over. "I mean, I'm looking forward to play finals tomorrow", said the 18th-ranked Khachanov.

"Karen deserves [to be] where he is, in the final", he said.

Watch the Paris Masters come to a conclusion with coverage of the final underway on Sky Sports Action from 2pm.

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