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Thiem eliminates Sock to reach Paris Masters semis

07 November 2018

Novak Djokovic edged an epic semi-final at the Paris Masters as he defeated Roger Federer 7-6 (6) 5-7 7-6 (3). "I came here to Paris with no expectations and figuring that I'd just play a match or two, thinking I'd probably lose because I was too exhausted after Basel".

Federer had 17 aces, while Djokovic got five of his eight in his last three service games of the match, stepping up his level at the right time.

"Along with the Wimbledon semi-final against Nadal, it's surely the most exciting match this season".

The Japanese consequently appeared to lose all composure, gifting Federer another break at the start of the second.

Reflecting on his surprise win, he added: "It's one of my biggest titles so far, biggest achievement".

"But overall I'm happy with my game". At the end of a one-sided first set, he complained to Khachanov about the over-zealous reactions of the Russian's camp at courtside. 'I couldn't be happier to finish the season like this'.

Khachanov, at 22 another of the sport's brightest prospects, took ruthless advantage of the 21-year-old German's physical struggles as Zverev, battling with shoulder trouble, needed a medical time out in the first set at 4-1 down.

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Cilic and Thiem sealed the last two spots for the season-ending ATP Finals in London, starting on November 11. "This match could have gone either way", said Djokovic.

Earning his fourth straight win over a top-10 player this week, Khachanov, a victor at the Kremlin Cup in Moscow last month, picked up the biggest title of his burgeoning career. So if I'm not playing really, really good like today, then what's happening, they kill me', said Thiem who will play the ATP Finals in London next. He had to save three more break points in the seventh game to hold for 4-3 down.

Djokovic is two wins shy of tying Rafael Nadal's record with 33 ATP Masters 1000 titles.

The 31-year-old, now unbeaten in 22 matches, is a four-time victor of the Paris Masters.

"Put me under big pressure from the first ball, actually", Thiem said.

Khachanov has also won two ATP World Tour titles in 2018 with triumphs in Marseille and at the Kremlin Cup. What more can I ask for?

The 14-time Grand Slam champion showed trademark resilience to fend off three break points while trailing 4-2, but Khachanov displayed steely composure to seal a memorable victory after an hour and 38 minutes.

Thiem eliminates Sock to reach Paris Masters semis