"I'm happy with the way I'm playing".
Earning his fourth straight win over a top-10 player this week, Khachanov, whose muscular game resembles that of his childhood hero Marat Safin, a Russian three-times victor in Paris, picked up the biggest title of his burgeoning career.
It means Djokovic will contest his fourth final in a row after a stunning run of form in the latter half of 2018 and now leads Federer 25-22 in career head-to-head.
Instead, up against a great champion looking for a fourth consecutive tournament win, following his victories at the Cincinnati Masters, the U.S. Open and the Shanghai Masters, the chess-loving Russian changed his strategy. Federer saved both break points, and Djokovic whacked his racket into the ground, drawing the first and only boos of a titanic match.
The Japanese consequently appeared to lose all composure, gifting Federer another break at the start of the second.
"I didn't unfortunately. But I don't want to talk about that", Djokovic said. In the 2013 semifinals, he bounced back from a set down to beat the Swiss, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2. "Maybe I'm not crying, but still I'm really happy". But the 20-time grand slam champion, Federer, fought back and finished the 2nd set 7-5, to send the match to a decider, where Djokovic finished it 7-6, to wrap-up an epic match in 3 hours and 6 minutes. In the full-capacity Bercy Arena, the two superstars didn't let crowds down as their encounter went in a dramatic manner with two sets forced into tie-breaks.
"It was a spectacular match", Djokovic told Sky Sports. View FedEx ATP Head2Head for the following match-up at the Rolex Paris Masters and vote for the players you think will win! This year, he won the Kremlin Cup and Marseille tournament in France. "I'm having the best season, so far", Khachanov said.
He secured victory on his first match point when Djokovic chopped a backhand return wide.
Earlier, Russian Karen Khachanov upset young gun Alexander Zverev 6-1 6-2 to reach the other semi against Dominic Thiem, who beat defending champion Jack Sock 4-6 6-4 6-4. And what more can I ask for?
Khachanov has won all four ATP World Tour title matches he has taken place in and should go into 2019 brimming with confidence.