du Tuesday 29 Octobre 2019 at 19h00 au Tuesday 29 Octobre 2019 at 20h30
ROLEX PARIS MASTERS From October 31th to November 8th, 2020
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Rolex Paris Masters semi-finals day sees Dominic Thiem battle Karen Khachanov before Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer duel one more time


This will be the first time these two mighty hitters have played each other and both sense that the contest could prove as thunderous as we all trust it will. They’re both certainly savouring the thought of bringing the house down, and why wouldn’t they be? For this represents a golden opportunity for them both.

Victory would earn Thiem, who at 25 has passed the ‘rising star’ stage and is expecting to now start collecting the major titles that his talent demands, a chance to lift his first Masters 1000 title, after twice missing out in the final in Madrid.

And for Khachanov, at just 22, a win would let the young Russian contest a first final of this magnitude after a year in which he’s already picked up a couple of indoor hard court titles.

It’s already been another breakthrough week for the Muscovite, who not only negotiated John Isner’s monstrous serving and smashed fellow young gun Alexander Zverev’s resistance but who also ensured he will move up to a career high world No.13 next week. Make that No.12 if he beats Thiem.

Thiem says of Khachanov…..

“We’ve practised always a lot together, and we always had a good relationship. We even did the practice week together before the US Open. He's a very nice guy and also one of the best practice partners on tour. It's always really good intensity. He’s one of the last top guys I’ve never faced on the tour.“

“It's not a matter of if, just a matter of when he makes the top 10. I expect him in the top 10 in the first half of next year. Like Sascha (Zverev), they’re tall, have a great serve but are still good movers, really good from the baseline. So they're both going to be in the top 10 for a very long time I guess.”

Khachanov says of Thiem….

“We get on well together and Dominic is always a tough opponent, always tough to play as I know from practice. And we are both looking forward to the match. It's surprising that it's our first encounter, but it should be a really nice match. His tennis is great to watch.”


Roger versus Rafa might be the more celebrated and Rafa versus Novak might be the more intense, yet there’s an argument to say there might not be any rivalry in tennis more wonderfully entertaining than Roger versus Novak. Welcome then to their 47th delicious duel.

Even now, even with Djokovic back to something near his 2011 and 2015 greatest and having won seven of their last nine meetings, there’s that nagging feeling that you can never write off Federer when Djokovic is in the other corner.
Remember 2011, when Djokovic, like today, had an unbeatable air and went 43 games undefeated. Who ended that streak? It was Federer, that’s who. And in Paris too, in a quite beautiful semi-final at Roland-Garros.

That was just one of many of their fantastic duels, like those two US Open semi-finals in successive years, 2010 and 2011, in both of which Djokovic saved two match points before prevailing. After 12 years, the score stands at Novak 24 wins, Roger 22; now that’s what you call a rivalry.

And maybe, Federer may think, this could just be a propitious moment to get within one victory of Djokovic again. Just when Novak’s feeling a little under the weather, complaining of some form of flu bug, while Roger himself has a spring in his step, with a landmark 100th title in his sights and a feeling that “I have nothing to lose.” This is going to be great.

Roger says of Novak….

“I think I'm ready to do something, but clearly I have to play a lot of good tennis because those are the questions Novak asks of you. It's not just maybe a serve here or there or a return here or there. He’s going to ask the question time and time again because he defends so well and plays well in attack and plus he's serving consistently well at the moment. So I think it's going to be tough.”

Novak says of Roger….

(Speaking at Cincinatti) “He has influenced me greatly. Our rivalry has influenced the evolution of my game. Coming into a match with Roger, obviously you know what's going to be required from you is to play high-level tennis. It's just that he always plays at the highest possible level, especially towards the end of any tournament.“

“He's puts so much variety in his serve, and he hits his spots so beautifully every time he needs it. Throughout his career, he's probably the best-ever clutch server, him and Pete Sampras, probably.”

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