A regular visitor to a novice. Opposed in the final of the Rolex Paris Masters Sunday at Bercy (15:00), Novak Djokovic and Karen Khachanov will offer an unprecedented tournament in Paris. An unbalanced final at the level of the charts, but not necessarily sportingly speaking because the two men there have achieved performances of choice. Four-time winner of the tournament, Djokovic will be looking for a 33rd Masters title and will try to equal the record of Rafael Nadal, the most successful player in the highest category of tournament on the professional circuit. For Khachanov, three titles on the clock, including two this season indoor (Marseille and Moscow), it will be a great first in his young career.
Both men made solid journeys to reach this grand finale. For Djokovic, his first two games were not a problem, it's more his quarter-final against Marin Cilic and his homeric half against Roger Federer who started his organization and resources with 5h12 game cumulative. A lot for indoor. But do not worry about the Serb, he still has fuel. Its exceptional recovery capacity is, it, more to prove and the last Wimbledon has been the proof.
For Karen Khachanov, the first Russian finalist in Bercy since 2006 and the coronation of Nikolay Davydenko, everything worked perfectly this week. Thanks to a very high level of play, the 22-year-old right-handed swept all of his opponents (except John Isner) including Alexander Zverev and Dominic Thiem, shoved in the quarterfinals and semi-finals. On track, the Russian has experienced a surplus of confidence after his successful forceps against Isner in the round of 16 on the small court # 1. The match with the knife, where he saved two match points before beating the giant Greensboro, a real client on the courts of Bercy, was his click. The moment that changed everything. This Parisian week is the beginning of his journey to the summits. And Djokovic, the last obstacle to his explosion in the eyes of the world.
Karen Kachanov at the Rolex Paris MastersGetty Images
1st round – Bat Filip Krajinovic (7-5, 6-2)
2nd round – Matthew Ebden (6-2, 2-0 ab.)
Round of 16 – Beat John Isner (6-4, 6-7, 7-6)
Quarterfinal – beats Alexander Zverev (6-1, 6-2)
Semifinal – def. Dominic Thiem (6-4, 6-1)
1st round – bye
2nd round – bat Joao Sousa (7-5, 6-1)
Round of 16 – Defeat Damir Dzumhur (6-1, 2-1 ab.)
Quarter-final – bat Marin Cilic (4-6, 6-2, 6-3)
Semifinal – def. Roger Federer (7-6, 5-7, 7-6)
Face to face :
The two men have faced each other only once on the ATP circuit. Novak Djokovic won their only match. It was this season at Wimbledon, and the Serb had not left a set to Karen Khachanov (6-4, 6-2, 6-2).
The 3 stats to know:
22. Novak Djokovic is on a series of 22 consecutive matches won. The Serbian has not lost since the knockout stages of the Masters 1000 in Toronto in early August. This is the sixth time in his career that he has won a series with more than 20 victories.
33. If he wins, Novak Djokovic will join Rafael Nadal at the top of the number of titles in Masters 1000. The Spaniard currently has 33, Serbian 32.
1. This will be Karen Khachanov's first Masters 1000 final on the ATP circuit. The 22-year-old Russian currently has three titles, all in ATP 250, and is undefeated in the final.
" This is the last tournament of the year so I am very happy to succeed, to reach the final, but it's not over. I'm looking forward to the final. It will be a nice match against a legend."
" Karen deserves to be where he is. He plays a good tennis. He is solid from the bottom of the court and he has a good service."
Our opinion :
Advantage Novak Djokovic. Although he struggled for three hours to defeat Roger Federer in the semifinals, the number two world has shown in the past its incredible recovery capabilities. He will be in good shape and full of confidence before challenging Karen Khachanov. Even if he has the weapons to cause problems for Djokovic, the Russian still seems too tender and lacks experience in such spheres. He will play his first Masters 1000 final against a legend of the game. This final will be played in two rounds as in Shanghai where the novice Borna Coric had taken the lesson. If the Russian beat Djokovic, it will be put in the category of exploits. He will have to keep his head very cold to succeed this crazy bet.