Novak Djokovic says his thrilling three-set epic with Roger Federer at the Paris Masters was “one of the best” between the pair. In their 47th meeting, the Serb beat Federer 7-6 (8-6) 5-7 7-6 (7-3) to reach today’s final.
Djokovic, who will return to world number one tomorrow (Monday), will face Karen Khachanov after the Russian defeated Dominic Thiem.
“It was a spectacular match,” Djokovic told Sky Sports. “We went toe-to-toe.”
He added: “We’ve had some epic matches but clearly this is one of the best, in terms of the level of play. Along with the Wimbledon semi-final against Nadal, it’s surely the most exciting match this season.”
The 31-year-old, now unbeaten in 22 matches, is a four-time winner of the Paris Masters. A win today will see him draw level with Spain’s Rafael Nadal on 33 career Masters titles.
Swiss third seed Federer, chasing his 100th career title, seemed to be back to his best in yesterday’s semi-final and looked stronger as the match wore on.
The 37-year-old spurned set point in the first set tie-break and could only watch as Djokovic took the early advantage, roaring with emotion following a one hour 14 minute epic.
But, with nothing separating the two in the second, Federer finally broke Djokovic to win the set and restore parity – the first service break of the match.
Federer hit several sublime backhand shots down the line in the deciding set but Djokovic’s serve was dominant, although the Serb grew frustrated as the set wore on, his opponent standing resolute.
The third set tie-break proved Federer’s undoing as he found himself unable to answer Djokovic, allowing the Serb to seal victory in three hours and two minutes.
“Novak is obviously on a roll. You can feel it. At the end it came down to a few things here and there,” said Federer.
RESULTS & FIXTURES
Bournemouth 1 – 2 Man United
Cardiff City 0 – 1 Leicester City
Everton 3 – 1 Brighton
Newcastle 1 – 0 Watford
West Ham 4 – 2 Burnley
Arsenal 1 – 1 Liverpool
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Man City v Southampton 4pm
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