Published: Wed, November 07, 2018
Sport | By Matt Richards

Djokovic proud of ‘amazing five months’ after Khachanov upset

Djokovic proud of ‘amazing five months’ after Khachanov upset

The lingering physical effects of a semi-final victory against Roger Federer over a captivating three hours on Saturday evening meant that Djokovic was far from his usual fluid self on court at the Accorhotels Arena yesterday. "I won the match, but if he would've won it, it would've been absolutely deserved".

Federer's down the T serve was returned well by Djokovic straight in the middle and the Swiss ace took his time before whipping it to Djokovic's right to what looked like a sure victor.

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

Chasing his 100th career title after winning the Swiss Indoors last Sunday, the 20-time Grand Slam champion was hardly troubled. I know I can play better. After the two players held their serves for 4-all, Khachanov broke for the first time before bagging the first set 6-4. "I'm just happy that match by match I'm just increasing the level of the game", he added.

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Djokovic, a record four-time champion at the indoor event, looked out of energy after an epic three-hour semifinal win against Roger Federer on Saturday.

Khachanov became the first Russian to win a Masters 1000 title since Nikolay Davydenko in 2009 with his victory which also prevented Djokovic from celebrating his return to world No 1 on Monday with a fifth title in the French capital. "This match could have gone either way", said Djokovic.

The Russian went on to break the Serbian early on in the second set but failed to capitalise off another three break points in the seventh game.

Still, the Wimbledon and U.S. Open champion has plenty to feel good about after a 22-match winning streak, and he remains favorite for the season-ending ATP Finals in London, beginning November 11.

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

Russian Karen Khachanov ran out a comfortable 6-1 6-2 victor against fourth seed Alexander Zverev in their last-eight encounter. "I told him to tell him to keep it down a little bit because he was going a little bit too much over the edge". "And in general, it's a breakthrough season", said Khachanov, who also won the Kremlin Cup in Moscow last month.

A fired-up Djokovic let out a roar and pumped his fist after taking a 3-1 lead when Khachanov drilled a backhand wide under pressure, but the underdog was undeterred and broke back immediately.

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