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Djokovic beats Federer to reach Paris Masters final

  • Posted: Nov 03, 2018

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 Sunday’s final.

Djokovic, who will return to world number one on 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.”

  • Relive all the action from Federer v Djokovic in Paris

The 31-year-old, now unbeaten in 22 matches, is a four-time winner of the Paris Masters. A win on Sunday 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 Saturday’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.

“But overall I’m happy with my game. It’s better than last week in Basel. There I won the tournament and here I played in the semis and it needed somebody of Novak’s calibre to beat me.”

Djokovic will face Khachanov for only the second time in Sunday’s final after the 22-year-old beat Thiem 6-4 6-1.

“He’s been playing some sensational tennis. He’s striking the ball beautifully,” Djokovic said.

“I’ve got to use my experience and hopefully I can recover before then.”


Russell Fuller, BBC tennis correspondent

Their 47th meeting was one of their best.

Federer drove Djokovic to distraction by saving all 12 break points he faced – including one with a volley he wasn’t even able to see as the ball reared at him off the net.

Both served commandingly in the final set and the only anti-climax was the final tie-break in which Federer was error-strewn and Djokovic showed no mercy.

Federer has played superbly here, especially when you consider he was unsure whether even to compete after winning a 99th title in Basel last week.

But Djokovic is unquestionably the best in the world right now: he has played 32 matches since June and won 31 of them.

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Pliskova withdraws from Czech team for Fed Cup final

  • Posted: Nov 03, 2018

Karolina Pliskova has pulled out of the Czech Republic’s Fed Cup final against the United States with a torn calf muscle.

Pliskova, 26, was injured at the WTA Finals and will be replaced by world doubles number one Barbora Krejcikova.

Pliskova, the world number eight, said she was “terribly sorry” to miss the final, which starts on 10 November.

The United States team is already missing Serena and Venus Williams and WTA Finals runner-up Sloane Stephens.

Pliskova said: “Our team is so strong that the girls will replace me.”

The Czechs have also called up seventh-ranked Petra Kvitova, 33rd-ranked Barbora Strycova and 31st-ranked Katerina Siniakova, who is Krejcikova’s doubles partner and fellow doubles world number one.

The final involves the two most successful nations in Fed Cup history – the USA with 18 trophies and the Czech Republic with 10, including five as part of the former Czechoslovakia. It will be played on the hardcourt of the 15,000-capacity O2 Arena in Prague.

US captain Kathy Rinaldi has called on world number 35 Danielle Collins, 48th-ranked Sofia Kenin and 15th-ranked doubles player Nicole Melichar – each making their Fed Cup debuts.

Alison Riske, ranked 63rd in the world, will also make the trip to Prague for the two-day final as the US bid to defend their title.

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Injured Del Potro pulls out of ATP Finals

  • Posted: Nov 03, 2018

Argentina’s Juan Martin del Potro has withdrawn from the season-ending ATP Finals in London and will be replaced by Japan’s Kei Nishikori.

World number four Del Potro is still sidelined with the right knee injury he sustained in Shanghai last month.

Nishikori will join Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Alexander Zverev, Kevin Anderson, Marin Cilic and Dominic Thiem at the event.

“It’s frustrating for me not to be able to compete in London,” said Del Potro.

The Argentine, 30, last played in the tournament in 2013 but has been plagued by injuries since.

“It’s a very special tournament and I’ve tried everything possible to get my knee better,” he added. “The rehabilitation is making good progress, but I need more time.

“Of course, it’s disappointing for me right now, but I had a very good season overall.”

The ATP Finals run at the O2 Arena from 11-18 November.

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Update: Roger Forces A Decider Vs. Novak In Paris

  • Posted: Nov 03, 2018

Update: Roger Forces A Decider Vs. Novak In Paris

Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer are battling for a spot in the Rolex Paris Masters final

Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer are battling in the Rolex Paris Masters semi-finals and the stakes are as great as they’ve ever been.They are heading to a decider after Djokovic took the first set 7-6(6) and Federer converted a late break for 7-5 in the second.

The Serbian and the Swiss renew their rivalry for a 47th time, with Djokovic leading the storied FedEx ATP Head2Head by a tally of 24-22. The last time they met, in the Cincinnati final this year, Djokovic streaked to a straight-set victory.

This time, Federer is bidding to exact his revenge and move one step closer to a stunning 100th tour-level title. It has been nearly three years since he last defeated his Serbian rival, with his last triumph coming at the Nitto ATP Finals in 2015. Djokovic, meanwhile, is eyeing a 23rd straight match win this year, which would put him in a fourth consecutive final.

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Following their Cincinnati encounter in August, Federer described his returning performance as one of the worst of his career. He claimed just 26 per cent of such points and looked to flip the script as they entered the fast indoor courts of Paris-Bercy on Saturday. But as proceedings got underway, Djokovic’s delivery proved to be untouchable once again. 

And the Serbian was on the prowl with Federer serving at 3-4, forcing the Swiss to retreat to his backhand corner as he stood tall on the baseline. Federer would save four break points in that game, including a moment of magic that put his razor reflexes to the test. A Djokovic forehand clipped the net and spun towards Federer’s head, but the Swiss quickly raised his racquet and struck a sublime drop volley to the delight of the Parisian faithful.

The riveting first set would proceed to a tie-break and Djokovic would seize the initiative, denying a set point and sealing the opener when a Federer backhand slid wide. He fired nine winners in the 71-minute opening set.

Djokovic owns a commanding 17-1 record against Federer when winning the opener, but the Swiss looked to turn the tables in the second. They once again remained on serve throughout the set, but it was Federer who came up clutch in the critical stage. With Djokovic serving to force another tie-break, his Swiss rival pounced, reeling off 9 of 11 points to suddenly snatch a late break and send the encounter to a decider. He launched a forehand winner down the line to seize the set.

Djokovic’s inability to convert on 10 break points shined bright, particularly in the first game of the third set. The second seed had a 15/40 look, but Federer clamped down once again. In faster conditions, the Swiss’ serve is as reliable a weapon as any and it frequently did damage on Saturday.

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Muguruza thrashed by Wang in Zuhai after arguing with coach

  • Posted: Nov 03, 2018

Garbine Muguruza was thrashed by China’s Wang Qiang after arguing with her coach during the WTA Elite Trophy semi-finals in Zuhai.

Two-time Grand Slam champion Muguruza called Sam Sumyk on court after being broken to trail 3-2 in the opening set.

The two had a heated conversation which led to Sumyk saying “I don’t talk to people who are upset” and leaving the court during the change of ends.

The Spaniard then lost the next nine games as Wang triumphed 6-2 6-0.

Wang, who only played in the semi-final after Madison Keys withdrew with a knee injury, will play Australia’s Ashleigh Barty in the final.

Barty overcame German defending champion Julia Gorges 4-6 6-3 6-2.

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Muguruza struggled on serve from the start and saved two break points before Wang finally made the breakthrough in a game lasting 11 minutes.

The former world number one looked short of confidence after the row with Sumyk.

She finished with just 14 winners to Wang’s 34, as well as 21 unforced errors.

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Preview: Will Novak Stop Roger's Push Towards 100th Title?

  • Posted: Nov 03, 2018

Preview: Will Novak Stop Roger’s Push Towards 100th Title?

Tennis legends to meet for 47th time Saturday in Rolex Paris Masters semi-finals

Roger Federer has faced 328 players in 1,435 matches over his 20-year career on the ATP World Tour. He’s never met an opponent as often Novak Djokovic, whom he plays for the 47th time in the Rolex Paris Masters semi-finals. Djokovic and Federer have clashed at all four Grand Slam tournaments and eight of the nine ATP World Tour Masters 1000 events. But on Saturday, the World No. 2 and No. 3 will go head-to-head for just the second time in the past 33 months. Djokovic defeated Federer 6-4, 6-4 in the Cincinnati final on 19 August to improve to 24-22 in their rivalry.

View FedEx ATP Head2Head for the following match-up at the Rolex Paris Masters and vote for the players you think will win!
Djokovic vs Federer | Thiem vs Khachanov


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Since the start of the 2011 season in which he rose to No. 1 in the ATP Rankings, Djokovic is 18-9 against Federer, with two wins each at the Australian Open, Wimbledon and US Open. Djokovic also defeated Federer in the 2013 Rolex Paris Masters semi-finals. Regardless of Saturday’s result, the Serbian will return to No. 1 on Monday. If he beats Federer, Djokovic will eliminate the Swiss from contention for World No. 1 in the year-end rankings. Djokovic is two wins shy of tying Rafael Nadal’s record with 33 ATP Masters 1000 titles. Federer is two wins shy of his 100th career title.

“I’m always excited to play against him, particularly because it’s been a long time [since we’ve played] and I feel I can just go out there and see what happens,” Federer said. “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 tired after Basel.

“My priority is London, but now I am so far into the tournament I’ll just give it a go and hope things click for me. I’ll have to play well when it matters most. He’s on an incredible streak again , but I hope I can worry him a little bit tomorrow.”

In the first semi-final of the day, meeting for the first time are World No. 8 Dominic Thiem and No. 18 Karen Khachanov. Thiem joined Djokovic and Federer in the Nitto ATP Finals field when Kei Nishikori lost on Friday. The 25-year-old Austrian is attempting to reach his third ATP Masters 1000 final and capture the biggest title of his career. Khachanov is appearing in his second ATP Masters 1000 semi-final after falling to No. 1 Nadal in Toronto on 11 August. The 22-year-old Russian entered Paris with a 3-16 record against Top 10 opponents. If he defeats Thiem, Khachanov will have earned three Top 10 wins in as many days after beating No. 9 John Isner on Thursday and No. 5 Alexander Zverev on Friday.

– Joshua Rey contributed to this story

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