Paris | Federer and Djokovic will fight for final place
Four-time Paris Bercy champion Novak Djokovic came back from one set down to edge Marin Cilic 4-6 6-2 6-3 after 2 hours and 10 minutes reaching the 63rd semifinal of his career and his fifth semifinal at the Paris Rolex Masters.
With the win Djokovic extends his streak to 21 consecutive matches for his seventh semi-final of the season.
Djokovic faced break points dropping his serve twice and converted four of his 13 break points chances. He also struck 21 winners to 19 unforced error in comparison to Cilic’s 29-37 ratio.
In the first set it was all Cilic who won 19 out of 21 points, saved the three break points as he continually frustrated Djokovic who showed signs of vulnerability and irritation when points went against him.
Cilic earned the only break of the first set in the ninth game, when Djokovic sent a backhand long. The Croat then hit three winners in the 10th game to close out the first set 6-4 after 50 minutes.
Djokovic despite a weak start in the second responded well to level the match and take it into a decider where Cilic went up a break in the third game with a crosscourt forehand passing shot for a 2-1 lead.
After smashing his racket in frustration, Djokovic broke straight back to draw level at 2-2, when Cilic netted his forehand. The Serb saved a break point in the seventh game and in the eighth game the Wimbledon and US Open champion converted his second break point chance with a crosscourt forehand passing shot winner for a chance to serve out for the win, which he duly did to love.
Djokovic will face Roger Federer in the semi-final, the Swiss having eliminated Kei Nishikori with relative ease 6-4 6-4 after 79-minutes.
Competing in Paris for the first time since 2015, Federer reached the last four for the fourth time in what was his 46th win of the season and the 364th at Masters 1000 level. Overall victory in Paris would clock up his 100th title.
Federer’s performance was a great improvement on the previous week in Basel despite ending the week as champion, which augurs well for the clash of the tournament between these two great rivals.
It is the match everyone wants to see, and the victor should go on and pick up the last Masters title of the season and set himself well up for the O2.