Published: Mon, November 05, 2018
Sports | By Brett Lawson

Unseeded Khachanov stuns Djokovic to win Paris crown

Unseeded Khachanov stuns Djokovic to win Paris crown

Serbia's Novak Djokovic in action during the final against Russia's Karen Khachanov.

Russia's Karen Khachanov defeated incoming world number one Novak Djokovic to win his first Masters 1000 title at the Paris Masters.

The 22-year-old Khachanov, ranked 18th, is the first Russian to win here since Nikolay Davydenko in 2006.

The 31-year-old Novak Djokovic appeared to tire early into the one hour and 37-minute match, following his three-hour battle against Roger Federer on the day before.

"For the most part I can be happy, my level was good, but losing is never fun", said Federer.

Khachanov, a strapping 1.98-metre huge hitter with surprisingly fleet movement around the court for such a big man, took advantage of Djokovic being a little under the weather after a week struggling with flu-like symptoms.

However, that didn't mean that Federer won't make him sweat and Djokovic had to endure much more than he expected in the semi-final match before he eventually won 6-7, 7-5, 6-7. "He deserves the trophy", Djokovic told the crowd.

Earning his fourth straight win over a top-10 player this week, Khachanov, a victor at the Kremlin Cup in Moscow last month, picked up the biggest title of his burgeoning career.

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Khachanov will move to No.11 next week as well.

Even better news for a sport always on the lookout for the next bright young thing to challenge the established order of Djokovic, Federer and Rafa Nadal, Khachanov showed why he has the weapons and temperament to offer them a real threat.

'And he showed great quality today and he showed why we're going to see a lot of him in the future'.

"As I said for the French Open, I will decide at the end of the year to see how it will have an impact on my physical training". This year, he won the Kremlin Cup and Marseille tournament in France.

But world number 18 Khachanov, unbeaten in three previous finals, hit back in the very next game as Djokovic dragged a forehand into the tramlines, down break point.

The 20-time Grand Slam champion lost the first set despite having held set point in the tiebreak and had Djokovic in trouble in the final set when the Serb received a code violation at 4-4 for chucking his racket away in disgust after the Swiss had saved two break points.

Djokovic outlasted Federer in an energy-sapping classic that lasted over three hours on Saturday, and the Serb began to look tired as he dropped serve to a fall behind early in the second set. "Hopefully health-wise, physically I'll be fine in a week's time when it all starts in London (ATP Tour Finals)".

"I'm satisfied of course and I'm going to be No. 1 tomorrow officially".

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