Khachanov King in Paris
Posted on November 05 2018
Karen Khachanov completed a remarkable finish to his season this weekend as he downed Novak Djokovic to claim the Paris Masters 1000 title. Khachanov, who also won his home event in Moscow last month, beat new world number 1 Djokovic, 7-5 6-4 to end the Serb’s mammoth 22 match win streak in competitive matches.
Karen Khachanov by Thesupermat is licensed under CC BY 2.0
22-year-old, Khachanov woke up this morning ranked number 11 in the world as he continues his push for a place in the world’s top 10 players. Khachanov was in unbelievable form throughout the tournament in Paris, claiming four victories against top 10 ranked players in John Isner, Alexander Zverev, Dominic Thiem and Djokovic.
The 6ft 6inch Russian is an imposing presence on the court, and he used his huge game to great effect this week, absolutely destroying Alexander Zverev 6-1 6-2 and proving too much for Djokovic to handle in the final.
Barring some surprise injuries, the Paris victory will be Khachanov’s last run out of the season, and while he will be relishing the rest time, he will hope that the break does not ruin his momentum.
Australia will now be his next target as he continues his quest to break into the world’s top 10, and he certainly has the game and mentality to achieve it.
After the game, Djokovic said of Khachanov “he was playing big from the back of the court. Flat backhands and forehands. He can really hurt you. That’s a big weapon… his serve is really strong and precise.” (ATP)
Big is certainly the right word to describe Khachanov’s game, and if he can find the kind of consistency he has this week then he is going to prove to be very difficult to beat in the year to come.
On the other side of the court, Djokovic will be disappointed to have missed out on the Paris title, but his winning run had to come to an end at some point, and he now finds himself back at the top of the rankings once again.
He will now turn his attention to the ATP Tour Finals in London where he will be favorite to claim victory despite a stellar lineup.
Should Djokovic manage to win in London he will equal Roger Federer’s record of 6 Tour Finals victories, but he will have to be at his best if he is to triumph again this time around.
As Federer showed this week, he is still capable of pushing Djokovic all the way. The two played out an exhilarating semi-final in Paris, with Djokovic eventually triumphing 7-6 5-7 7-6, but as the score suggests, it was a match that could have gone either way.
Djokovic’s other great rival Rafael Nadal will be hopeful of being fit in time to compete in London. He was forced to pull out of the Paris Masters, relinquishing his world number 1 position in the process. He will be eager to get out on court in London and prove that he is still the man to beat, although Djokovic’s recent form would suggest that is no longer the case.
If you’re craving yet more live tennis though, the excellent Next Gen tournament starts tomorrow in Milan, with the top 8 under 21s battling it out to be crowned the Next Gen champion.
This is a brilliant opportunity to view some of the future stars of the game in action, with Greek sensation Stefanos Tsitsipas the star attraction.