Khachanov defeats Djokovic in Paris Masters
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.