Russia’s Karen Khachanov poses with the trophy after winning against Serbia’s Novak Djokovic, the men’s singles final tennis match on day seven of the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 – Rolex Paris Masters – indoor tennis tournament at The AccorHotels Arena in Paris, on November 4, 2018. Anne-Christine POUJOULAT / AFP
Karen Khachanov defied the bookmakers at the Paris Masters by defeating Novak Djokovic 7/5, 6/4 in a major upset that shook all the records. In a domineering performance, the world number 18 powered his way over the seemingly battle-weary tournament’s second seed.
Djokovic served first and held, although he struggled with his first serves. Khachanov faced break point at 30-40 in the second game but saved it and held with an ace. In the fourth game, Khachanov fell behind 0-30 on his next service game and saved a break point with his second ace but eventually conceded and Djokovic lead 3-1.
Serving to consolidate, Djokovic failed to deliver first serves and Khachanov broke back and leveled. It was his doorway to a 7/5 first set.
With his service woes persisting, Djokovic was broken in the third game and his opponent extended the lead to 3-1. Although Djokovic held his serve to reduce the tally 2-3, Khachanov extended the lead, after saving a break point, yet again. Serving in the seventh game, Djokovic was down 15-40. There was a visible sign of dejection when he kicked a bounced-back missed first serve. However, he fought back to deuce, lost the first advantage point and required two of his own to hold serve for a 4-3 tally.
Khachanov extended the lead to 5-3 on serve and Djokovic held serve for 4-5. Serving for the set, Khachanov hammered first serves that cracked through Djokovic famed returning prowess. After one hour and 37 minutes, the 22-year old man from Russia, clinched the match for another historic title this season, after his success at home in the Moscow Kremlin Cup.
Khachanov’s victory deprived Djokovic of his fifth Paris Masters title that he had won in 2007 and 2013 to 2015. The Russian also halted the Serbian superstar’s run of 22 consecutive match victories, starting with the first round of Wimbledon, after he had lost to Marin Cilic in the finals of the Queens London Grass-courts event.
Despite the loss in the finals, Djokovic would rise to world number one. Khachanov came to Paris ranked 18 but with the 1000 points for the new title, he would also move up in the rankings.