Khachanov de­feats Djokovic in Paris Mas­ters

The Gulf Today - Panorama - - SPORT -

Karen Khachanov caused one of the shocks of the ten­nis year by over­pow­er­ing No­vak Djokovic 7-5, 6-4 in the Paris Mas­ters fi­nal this week to end the Ser­bian’s re­mark­able spell of dom­i­nance in the men’s game. The 22-year-old Rus­sian has for some time been seen as one of the ris­ing young tal­ents of the sport but few could have en­vis­aged his de­mo­li­tion of the Ser­bian su­per­star, who was on a three-month, 22-match win­ning streak. Djokovic was ex­pected to cel­e­brate his re­turn to world No.1 with a record-ex­tend­ing fifth Paris ti­tle, but he went down in one hour 37 min­utes amid a hail of 31 crush­ing win­ners from the Mus­covite’s racket. “To fin­ish my sea­son like this is a dream,” Khachanov told the crowd in the Bercy arena, ex­plain­ing that Djokovic had al­ways been an in­spi­ra­tion to him. He even took a leaf out of the Serb’s book of cel­e­bra­tions by bend­ing down to kiss the Cen­tre Court. “Maybe I’m not cry­ing, but still I’m re­ally happy,” he told re­porters later. 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. Justin Rose re­turned to the top of the world rank­ings this week af­ter mak­ing the first suc­cess­ful ti­tle de­fence of his ca­reer in the Turk­ish Air­lines Open. Rose de­feated China’s Hao­tong Li on the first play­off hole af­ter the pair had fin­ished tied on 17 un­der par at the Reg­num Carya Re­sort. The 38-year-old is now a com­bined 55 un­der par for his 12 rounds in the £5.4-mil­lion (Dhs25.8m) event, while he also won its pre­cur­sor — an eight-man match­play com­pe­ti­tion — in An­talya in 2012. Rose spent two weeks as world No.1 ear­lier this sea­son af­ter fin­ish­ing sec­ond in the BMW Cham­pi­onship, but had been de­ter­mined to get back to the sum­mit in style with a sec­ond con­sec­u­tive vic­tory in Turkey.

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