Novak Djokovic edges epic semi-final clash against Roger Federer in Paris
Djokovic advances into the final against unseeded Russian Karen Khachanov.
Federer saved two match points but could not prevent himself slipping to a fourth straight loss to Djokovic, who advances into the final against unseeded Russian Karen Khachanov, who has never played in a Masters final.
Earlier, Khachanov continued his strong recent form by beating Dominic Thiem 6-4 6-1 in just 71 minutes.
Djokovic, who beat Khachanov on the way to winning the Wimbledon title this summer, is seeking a record-extending fifth Paris Masters title .
The match between two players with a combined 34 Grand Slam titles and 59 Masters titles lived up to expectations as they slugged it out in unrelenting intensity.
Brilliant one-handed winners on the run from Federer and acute-angle volleys at the net were matched by tireless retrieving from the baseline and laser-beam forehands to the lines from Djokovic.
Djokovic briefly let his temper get the better of him when he had Federer at 15-40 down in the ninth game of the deciding set. Federer saved both break points, prompting Djokovic to smash his racket into the ground.
Djokovic created pressure throughout but Federer saved every break point – all 12 of them – and secured the only break of the match in clinching the second set.