Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer to clash in Paris Masters semi-finals
Novak Djokovic extended his winning streak to 21 matches to set up a blockbuster semi-final clash against Roger Federer at the Paris Masters.
Djokovic overcame a stern examination from Marin Cilic to prevail 4-6 6-2 6-3, while Federer stayed on course for his first title in the French capital since 2011 with a 6-4 6-4 victory over Kei Nishikori.
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The Serb, who will take over from Rafael Nadal as world No 1 on Monday, was forced to come from a set down in a challenging tussle to clinch his place in the last four.
Djokovic had his personal best winning sequence of 30 consecutive sets ended as Cilic played almost flawlessly aggressive tennis to draw first blood in a magnificent duel.
But that only prompted the four-time Paris champion to increase his focus and produce some supreme play to turn the tide and extend his winning record to 16-2 over Cilic after two hours and 11 minutes.
Thiem to face Khachanov in semis
“It was a big challenge. I was a break down in the third set. This match could have gone either way,” said Djokovic, who will face Federer for the 47th time. “I won the match, but if he won it, it would have been absolutely deserved.
“I’m just pleased to be in the semis, I know I can play better. At times tonight I was playing really well. At times, not that great. So there are things that I have to obviously improve for the next one, and I’m looking forward to it.”
Federer, chasing a 100th career title, did enough to come through against Japan’s Nishikori for the sixth time in succession and set up a meeting with Djokovic, who he has failed to beat in their three previous meetings.
The reigning Wimbledon and US Open champion leads their head to head record 24-22 and he has not lost to the Swiss since 2015.
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