Almost Run Him Down – Novak Djokovic reacts to ousting Karen Khachanov at Paris Masters
Novak Djokovic acknowledged that Karen Khachanov can be a very tricky player when playing on an indoor-hard surface as the Serb was thrilled with how he finished the match against the Russian. On Thursday, Djokovic saw off Khachanov 6-4 6-1 to progress into the Paris Masters quarterfinal.
Four years ago, Khachanov stunned Djokovic in the Paris final to lift his first and lone Masters title. To this day, that has been Khachanov’s first and lone victory over Djokovic as the Serb now owns an 8-1 head-to-head against the Russian.
“Khachanov is someone I know really well. We train [together] a lot, and we played almost 10 times against each other on different surfaces. He beat me four years ago in the final, so I know he likes this surface, he likes these conditions.
The first [set] was quite even, I had my chances, he had a break, and he was hanging on and I broke his serve in the 10th game of the first set and I think after that the momentum shifted. In the second set I was a different player.
I think I stepped it up even more, served better, and I’m just really pleased with the way I finished,” Djokovic said after the match, per the ATP website.
How Djokovic defeated Khachanov?
Djokovic got off to a perfect start, breaking Khachanov early for a 3-0 lead.
Down by a break, Khachanov worked his way back into the set as he broke back Djokovic in the fifth game and served out the sixth game to tie the match to three games apiece. After blowing an early break, Djokovic missed out on two consecutive break points in the eighth game as Khachanov tied the first set to four games apiece.
In the 10th game – when Khachanov was serving to stay in the first set – Djokovic broke the Russian to win the opener. At the start of the second set, Djokovic missed out on a break point in the second game as Khachanov managed to tie the set to one game apiece.
Then, Djokovic claimed back-to-back breaks to win five games in a row and complete a straight-set win in style. Djokovic plays Lorenzo Musetti in the Paris quarterfinal.